Dar San Ġużepp, the home for the elderly under construction in Għajnsielem, is set to admit its first residents by the end of the year, according to Gozo Minister Clint Camilleri.
Camilleri confirmed the projected deadline in his replies to parliamentary questions on the project by opposition MP Kevin Cutajar. He also confirmed that the home will have a capacity of 119 persons.
The minister, however, said that the target date depended, in part, on tendering procedures, noting that a “service tender for the finishing, furnishing, equipping, operating, managing and maintaining of Dar San Ġużepp at Għajnsielem, Gozo as a facility for the long-term care for the elderly” is expected to be published next month.
Camilleri insisted that he was not in a position to state how much the project would cost “as some works are still in a preparatory stage.”
However, the project was estimated to cost some €1 million when works began in early 2015. Back then, the project was expected to be completed in 18 months.
Home replaces 18th century building
The home is being built on site of the historic Casa San Giuseppe, which was built in the 18th century. It had been an orphanage and was the original home of the St Joseph Band of Għajnsielem: in more recent times, it has served as a youth hostel.
The project was granted a development permit in 2014, and the Cultural Heritage Advisory Committee had recommended that as much of the structure as possible should be incorporated into the new development. However, much of the historic building was torn down, preserving only the façade.
The property is presently owned by the Gozo Church, though it is being rented out to the government at a lower rate than the market value.