SURREY - The new Kinsmen Lodge at 9650 137A St. in Surrey officially opened Thursday, showing off the four-storey building's 157 beds for seniors.
"Our rooms are beautiful and they are our own," said Jean Crowther, 88, a resident of Kinsmen Lodge since October. "They really do put the patients first, and they go out of their way to accommodate you."
The original 144 residents of the lodge's previous location on Old Yale Road moved into the new location in February. The previous site had some residents rooming with others and was in need of updated tools.
"We're talking the previous one that was 30-some odd years old," said Surrey Coun. Barbara Steele of the old site, built in 1975. "The technology and all of the inner workings have changed."
The new location covers roughly 90,000 square feet - nearly twice as much space as the old building - with more advanced technology and enough rooms for everyone.
"Time's moved on and standards always are improving," said Dr. Nigel Murray, President and CEO of Fraser Health. "To make sure that we keep our facilities as modern as possible, we're always trying to renew our fleet of beds. This is one way of doing it."
Gerry Della Mattia, Chairman of Kinsmen Lodge, said the location - close to the hospital - seemed like a logical place.
"We did have additional land at the old site, but building there would have been more complicated," he said.
The provincial government paid for 144 beds and Murray announced that Fraser Health purchased 11 more, leaving two private-pay beds.
"It's a much safer environment and it's more like home," said Murray.