July start on $38m aged centre work


WORK to redevelop Andrew Kerr Frail and Aged Care Complex in Mornington is set to start as early as July.

The much-anticipated start comes after almost four years of negotiations with Mornington Peninsula Shire as well as debate over the future of Glenbank, the 1875 Italianate mansion at the heart of the complex on the corner of Barkly St and Tanti Ave.

The not-for-profit company initially wanted to demolish Glenbank but faced stiff opposition from the shire, neighbours, other Mornington residents, historical societies and the peninsula branch of National Trust. It withdrew its demolition application in early 2013 and, encouraged by the shire, submitted new plans for a larger complex.

Andrew Kerr board vice-chairman Tony Sewell, also convener of the building committee, said the organisation was pleased the project was about to start after tenders closed in early May.

“We will finalise negotiations with the builder in the next week or 10 days,” he told The News late last week.

The $28 million project of 2011 is now a $38 million one involving a mixture of refurbished and new buildings.

Mr Sewell said initial plans for 26 two-bedroom “independent living” units in two-storey buildings had been changed to 34 units in three two-storey buildings with underground parking for 50 cars.

There will be four 30-bed aged care units, with underground parking for 48 cars of staff and visitors. The buildings accommodating aged care residents will be built or refurbished first and are expected to be ready by July next year.

All work will be finished by July 2017.

Glenbank will be renovated inside and become a hub for people in the independent units with a communal dining room, cafe, library and meeting rooms as well as two offices for staff. Day care patients will be in a new building.

The mansion will also have an outdoor terrace and rooftop deck.

“The tradeoff of retaining Glenbank and the shire allowing more units has worked out well.

“There will be more people living at Andrew Kerr – up from a total population of 117 to 170 – which will allow a greater diversity of services,” Mr Sewell said. “It will be good to see Glenbank better utilised because of the renovations.”

A 1960s addition to Glenbank will be removed and a new, less-intrusive and more compact addition built. Major work will be done on the mansion’s foundations. Mr Sewell said landscaping would highlight Glenbank and make it more of a feature of the site.

All new buildings will be within the 10-metre residential height limit.

First published in the Mornington News – 9 June 2015


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