AFTER more than a year of construction, Hervey Bay's newest aged care centre has opened its doors to the public.
And with 100 people already employed, the Waterford @ Hervey Bay will take on another 70 jobs as patient numbers increase.
The 145 bed, state-of-the-art aged care centre, opened by Bay MP Ted Sorensen and Member for Hinkler Keith Pitt yesterday, currently houses 11 residents.
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George Bardon was one of the first through its doors.
"I'm not going to heaven yet, I'm saying here," he told the Chronicle.
"It's so nice, anything you ask for they give."
The building has been described as "luxury living" for the elderly, and features a hairdressing salon, private function area, spa, movie theatre, gym, library, men's shed among other features.
Executive director Viv Padman said it was built around lifestyle benefits for many of its residents.
He said the centre would employ another 70 people once more residents moved in over the next few months.
"Most of the jobs have been won by locals," Mr Padman said.
"Some of the standout features are the environmental credentials of the building.
"It has a 90kw solar system, to take the load off the grid, and it has a 600,000L water tank.
"Washing machines use recycled water ... and the roof has been deliberately chosen as a light-coloured roof to limit the amount of heat transfer into the building."
More than 60 people were employed during the construction of the $30 million building.
Hervey Bay MP Ted Sorensen said the Waterford was "a testament that aged care facilities have come of age."
"It's a wonderful design with a great homely ambience, and it has a practical focus on residents' needs," he said.
Hinkler MP Keith Pitt said the new centre not only provided much-needed services to the region, but was a boost to the local economy with new jobs.