A state-of-the-art rest home in Hamilton’s north east has been developed through a partnership between Radius Care and one of the city’s most prominent developers.
The newly opened Radius Glaisdale which can accommodate 80 people is poised to serve the city for many decades and become a significant part of the Glaisdale subdivision’s community.
Development of Glaisdale, a 28 hectare subdivision in Rototuna which starts at the end of Resolution Drive and is bounded by Borman Rd and North City Drive began in 1997. The former Waikato district farm land was brought into Hamilton city and developers Ian Patton, Steve Agnew, David Lugton, and Malcolm MacDonald formed Glaisdale Partnership to progressively develop the land which will ultimately provide about 400 sections.
The name Glaisdale stems from the heritage of former Kay Rd resident Mrs McCorkindale who was brought up in a Yorkshire Village of that name and came to New Zealand in the 1920s. The name of the town was on her gate and Ian Patton researched the town and even visited it while in holiday in Britain. A number of the subdivsion’s streets are named after Glaisdale’s streets.
Ian says Radius Glaisdale came about due to a 6600 square metre section of the subdivision on the corner of Hare Puke Drive and Borman Rd which was designated for community use. One possibility was to build a rest home so Ian and his colleages went to see architect Peter Chibnall at Chibnall Buckell Team Architects.
“We said we could create a rest home, what would it look like, and discussions went from there,” says Ian.
Peter introduced them to Jason McCarthy from Independent Project Management Services who in turn introduced them to Radius Care. A visit from Radius Care managing director Brien Cree clinched the deal.
“They are good caring people,” says Ian of Radius Care. “It kind of evolved from there.”
Aged care is becoming even more crucial in New Zealand as the population of over 65s is set to double over the next two decades. Radius Care was established in 2003 to meet this need and in 2010, Brien Cree led a management buyout of the company, which brought it back into New Zealand ownership. Brien’s vision was to “bring some good old fashioned Kiwi values and standards” back into the aged care sector, and to make Radius Care the best aged care provider in the country.
The company has 22 locations around New Zealand, employing more than 1500 staff and providing professional aged care for more than 1700 residents.
Radius Care, which has two other rest homes in Hamilton, decided to site a rest home on the land and Glaisdale Properties partners Ian Patton and Steve Agnew remained as landlords. Peter Chibnall was engaged to do design work and Radius played a big part in design which Brien Cree says was critical from Radius Care’s point of view.
“We got involved very early on in the piece and had a lot of input into the design so we got exactly what we wanted,” he says.
Ian who was based near the site and working alongside project manager Jason McCarthy took responsibility to ensure Radius Care was delivered a building fit for purpose.
“I had to learn their business and make sure we were constructing a building that would still be great in 30 years’ time,” says Ian.
“We’ve had to learn a lot about the rest home business along the way.”
A landmark moment occurred during a visit to a new Radius rest home in Ashburton, Radius Millstream.
“I was so taken it just changed our whole attitude about what we were doing,” says Ian.
“It wasn’t a clinical place, it was a homely place and that’s what we have tried to create, something that’s homely.”
Brien remembers the visit to Ashburton well and agrees it was significant.
“The visit to Radius Millstream in Ashburton was an ideal scenario where in a similar way a local businessman had decided he wanted to build a rest home so we got involved early.
“The rest home is only 12 months old so it was good for Ian to go down and see what a new building looks like and see some of the things we were talking about.”
Brien emphasises how much rest home care has evolved even in the last 25 years.
“Back then rest homes were often converted boarding houses, and there were a lot of shared rooms with two people, sometimes even four people together. We’ve moved a long way since those old boarding house days. It’s completely changed. Residents are much older now because people are able to stay at home longer which is good. But we are more medically oriented now. And residents are able to have the ability to enjoy facilities such as generous lounges and courtyards.”
Ian’s huge experience of building and development was vital in his oversight of the project.
Ian and wife Jenny started Jennian homes in 1981 which initially focused on delivering budget homes to first home buyers and single mums. The business spread into Tauranga and Auckland and started building bigger, more complex homes as the market changed. Ian developed Jennian Homes into a franchise across seven locations from Auckland to Christchurch, building 250 homes a year and turning over $15 million.
When Ian and Jenny eventually sold the business, Ian pursued other ventures. He developed the Oaklands subdivision in Cambridge, commercial property in Hamilton including the Quantum Lodge motel in Pukete and with Glaisdale Property business partners purchased the land in Rototuna that would become Glaisdale.
Ian says building a rest home was much more specialised that he had realised.
“There’s a lot more involved that I realised initially. I liken it to building a little ship really, it’s a far more complex building than I’ve ever been involved in.”
He says the size itself at 37,000 square feet is astounding – the equivalent to 17 houses.
“When you walk through it you realise just how big it is, it’s amazing.”
Rest homes have specialised needs; they are lit all night and need emergency power supplies, high pressure water in case of fire and different supplies of water to ensure heat for the rest home residents is appropriate. Ian says having developed the Glaisdale subdivision around the construction site was an advantage as he knew exactly what infrastructure was available and how to utilise it.
Hamilton company Lobell Construction, with 20 years’ experience in both residential and commercial construction, was awarded the contract.
“They were really really good and so well organised,” says Ian.
He says it was a nostalgic time as many sub-contractors he had worked with during his Jennian Homes days returned to be involved with the project. He notes the expertise of Origin Windows managing director Mike Tubbs and Robbie Lee of Lee Roofing. He pays tribute to the work of Marcus Feisst of Feisst Electrical and Aaron Rink of CF Reece whose advice with issues such as the water system was invaluable.
“I just admire these guys so much, they worked so hard. It was a little bit of a renaissance where people got together again after a long period.”
Ian says he’s proud of the building standards used for the rest home.
“We have built it to be durable and last the distance and to still feel good in 30 years’ time. Radius are really supportive of that because they want to preserve people’s dignity.
Ian put his own touches on the project, sourcing kwila timber from Papua New Guinea which was milled in Indonesia and made into scotia and skirting and shipped to Auckland.
“Masses of it arrived here on trucks and trailers. It gave the place a different feel, a distinctive look. And it is hardy and durable and will take the knocks.”
Brian Cree says the project benefited from Ian’s experience.
“Ian has a very high attention to detail and some of the features of the facility have come directly from him such as the kwila finishing.
“That was partly as a result of him knowing how robust these rest homes need to be.
“Ian has so much experience, it’s been a pleasure working with him.”
Radius Glaisdale can provide expert nursing, dementia, palliative and respite care around the clock on a permanent or short-stay basis. The modern, private rooms are beautifully decorated and include spacious ensuites. Should residents wish to step out and socialise there’s a wealth of communal space to choose from, including several lounge areas, a large living room with big-screen TV, a library and an activity room.
Radius Glaisdale offers a comprehensive activities programme and a varied social calendar. There is a fully appointed kitchen onsite, operated by a first class chef and a professional food service team (including dietician), ensuring that all residents enjoy fresh, great tasting and nutritious meals.
With the rest home now up and running Ian is pleased with the design and the way it fits into the Glaisdale community.
“The design is conservative and it’s timeless and durable. We’ve used bricks and plaster product. We wanted something that fitted in with the subdivision – not all chrome and glass next to a wetland. We are really happy with the result.”
Brien stresses that Radius Glaisdale’s facilties such as its generous lounges are available to the wider community. The rest home can provide morning and afternoon teas and would like to see community organisations make use of its facilties.
“The main thing for us as an aged care facility is to become integrated and part of the community at Glaisdale,” he says.
“We want Radius Glaisdale to be recognised as a community asset,” he says.