Iconic Rotorua organisation, QE Health, had something to shout about in July, with the installation of the roof on their world-class health and wellness centre signalling the halfway mark of the 16-month construction project.
Known affectionately as ‘He Whare Atawhai – A place of kindness’, QE Health has supported thousands on their journey to wellness since opening its doors in 1942.
QE Health Chief Executive, Dr Aaron Randell, says it’s exciting to see the 3000sqm building being brought to life, with the installation of the roof being a significant milestone.
“For 80 years, QE Health has been Rotorua’s designated health and wellness destination and it holds a unique place in Rotorua’s history. It’s a privilege to be involved with this project and see it come to fruition for the Rotorua community,” he says.
“The new health and wellness facility will offer a much-improved visitor experience, with a contemporary and relaxing vibe where we can continue to provide modern clinical treatment while drawing on the historically unique geothermal water and mud resources.”
Construction of the new facility began in August last year, with the development undertaken by Watts & Hughes Construction. The project has created more than 30 new construction jobs in the city.
Watts & Hughes Construction Project Manager, Cole Weston, says this milestone is significant for QE, the community, and the wider construction sector.
“This is an incredible project to be part of and it’s important to see this type of investment and development for the region. It has been a challenging few years, so it’s great to see Rotorua expanding in this way,” he says.
“We’ve been able to support more than 30 people into employment and become part of the history of a significant institution for Rotorua, so it’s a special project for our team.”
The project has been funded through a series of predominately loans and some grants from Kānoa, the Government’s Regional Economic Development & Investment Unit, Rotorua Trust, and Rotorua Lakes Council.
Dr Randell says while they are hugely appreciative of the loans and grants they have received, QE Health is a not for profit charitable organisation and support from the community is still needed to complete the fit out of the new facility.
The facility is being constructed almost entirely from locally sourced timber, with the cladding being treated with new technology that doesn’t require the use of harmful chemicals.
Uniquely designed to reflect Rotorua’s geothermal heritage, the building will feature vertical white timber exterior cladding and screens to represent rising geothermal steam, evoking and acknowledging the geothermal source of wellbeing that makes QE Health unique.
The new facility will feature a modern layout, exercise studio, a new hydrotherapy pool and Rachel Pools, a 24-hour gym, and 13 comfortable and modern rooms for in-patient use.
The new building is expected to be complete in December this year.