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´╗┐Charlottetown landmark Mount St

The Mount is mounting quite a rebirth of sorts.

The Sisters of St. Martha announced Friday a deal has been reached to sell Mount St. Marys and 18 acres of surrounding property.

The Charlottetown landmark, known affectionately for years simply as The Mount, opened in 1964 at a time of growth with large numbers entering the congregation and the sisters engaged in a variety of ministries.

In their peak years between 196467, there were 160 members.

The congregations dwindling numbers in recent years, however, led to the decision in 2010 to put the fourstorey building up for sale.

Congregation leader Sr. Rosemary MacDonald is pleased with the plans for the building purchased by the JTM Group.

Renovations will begin soon to turn the 90,000squarefoot residence that currently has 92 bedrooms and several dozen bathrooms, into a continuing care community that will house more than 100 residents.

The building, which will be known as The Mount, Continuing Care Community, will blend independent living, community care and nursing care under one large roof.

Of the 62 sisters still in the congregation, 44 are currently living in the building and that number is likely to remain doing so. The sisters, some having lived here for the past 30 or so years, are in for a somewhat different environment, notes MacDonald.

Were living in our home but it is going to be owned and operated by somebody else, she said.

Although we are selling our Motherhouse we are delighted we will remain in the renovated facility to be known as The Mount where we will have the privilege to live with others in nursing and community care areas while having the top floor for independent living for some of our sisters.

The Sisters of St. Martha still have approximately 27acres of prime property adjacent to the University of Prince Edward Island on the selling block.

The province, through an agreement with the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Martha, will receive an option to purchase the excess lands not

required for the project. This will ensure provincial access to a very strategic property adjacent to the University of Prince Edward Island.

MacDonald stresses that the Sisters of St. Martha will continue to do their good work that began in 1916 when the congregation laid the foundation for quality education, health care and social services in the province.

From our humble beginnings in domestic work at St. Dunstans University, known now as UPEI, our works quickly evolved to education at all levels, health care, and the administration and operation of several hospitals.

The Sisters established the first social welfare agency in the province and eventually two sisters became Prince Edward Islands first professionally trained social workers.

Over the years, added MacDonald, faithful to our founder Bishop Henry OLeary, the Sisters continued to respond to the signs of the times, beginning new and diverse ministries as needs presented such as but not limited to: counseling, prison ministry work, work with people who are hard of hear, and spirituality.

Paul Jenkins, president of the JTM Group, which also coowns the Clinton View Lodge, hopes to open The Mount to new residents in July or August.

I think this is a premier building that has a lot of history in Charlottetown, he said.

The province is providing funding towards 30 longterm care beds at the facility.

These new beds will meet the needs of seniors and their families, said Minister of Health and Wellness Doug Curie.

At the same time, they will ease the pressure on acute care beds and enable us to provide better access to better care for all Islanders.

The province issued a Request For Proposals for long term care beds in February. The three successful recipients including Mount St. marys are Andrews of Summerside which will receive funding for 10 beds and Atlantic Baptist Home in Charlottetown which will receive 15 beds.

Many thanks to those who paved the path for this building to be turned into a Continuing Care facility. Usually a facility such as this will free up some of the much needed hospital beds presently occupied by people whose health improved enough to be discharged but could not go home as they live alone. My mother, 90, blind and a resident of another province, was recouperating from serious bowel surgery. She was transferred to a CC facility where she daily received delicious meals, helping hands with her daily hygiene, rest, blood pressure monitored, exercises, etc. until her strength returned and she was able to return to her own home. These facilities are truly a blessing for seniors recovering from hip and other surgeries.

THINK THINK THINK . Pretty boy has his face where it shouldnt be again. Showing a GOOD news piece to try to offset the Mphasis fiasco is good politics but I do not thin Islanders will fall for it anymore. We are getting used to govs tactics and as such have a hard time believing anything this lying government says. Shouldnt gov be looking at thousands of beds and not just a hundred or less. Are we only going to need 100 beds for people? I guess thats why the province and not the developers have an option to buy the extra land or are they just going to hold the option at tax payer expense for their buddy developers?