For the first time since it was built in 1999, wheelchair visitors to Gore Hospital can easily access the building.
A wheelchair ramp is one of the new features built during the makeover of the Gore Health Centre medical practice.
The GP practice opened its new doors and renovated rooms to patients on Monday.
Gore Health chief executive Karl Metzler said he was delighted with the makeover of the practice which has finished “on time, on budget, in a global pandemic”.
He was especially proud of the ramp which gave wheelchair visitors and people less mobile easy access to both the hospital and GP practice.
“Over the years I’ve had lots of feedback about it,” Mr Metzler said.
The plan to extend the GP practice by 170sqm was drawn up by AdMore Designs’ architectural designer Phil Checketts and started by Carpentry South staff in July 2020.
The project was expected to cost between $1million and $1.5million and was completed for under $1.3million.
The makeover had gone very well, Mr Metzler said.
“I would put it down to extremely good builders, subcontractors and very good project management.”
Often, during a project like this, something unexpected happened.
“There were no unforeseen blowouts, everything had been covered off and factored in.”
Comparing the former space with the new was like “night and day”.
“What you’ve got now is a modern practice that we hope our patients will enjoy and keep our staff happy.”
The extension was built in two stages and included four additional consulting rooms, a minor surgical procedures room and a larger waiting room.
“We wish to thank all our patients for their understanding and tolerance,” Mrs Reid said.
“It has been very disruptive for our staff, especially the practice nurses that ended up working in the middle of the construction site and never complained.”
Former Southern District Health Board kaumatua Herewini Neho blessed the new space before staff started work.
Mr Neho, of Ngapuhi descent, said he performed a whakawatea.
“It’s a cleansing of the whole building,” Mr Neho said.
“The karakia I did was to bless the staff that they would [meet] the spiritual needs of the people coming looking for help.”