A COLOURFUL world-first development that combines medical services and childcare will be the first post-Commonwealth Games project built at the Gold Coast’s Healthand Knowledge Precinct.
The eight-storey Centre of Growth is an initiative of Kool Kids founder Bruce Coulson, whose family is funding the multimillion-dollar project.
He has contracted to buy a 2000sq m block between the Gold Coast University Hospital and Gold Coast Private Hospital and the athletes village, where the jenga block-inspired building will take shape from 2019.
Of the 200 long day care places it will create, 40 per cent will be allocated to children with special needs.
Five-storeys of space will be available for paediatric medical specialists, eliminating the need for parents to ferry children all over the city and beyond to regular appointments.
An artist’s impression of the Kool Kids childcare centre and paediatric and medical care facility planned for the Gold Coast Health and Knowledge Precinct. Photo: Supplied Mr Coulson has signed a memorandum of understanding with Gold Coast Health, Griffith University, the council and the precinct’s project office to work together on the development.
“Children will be able to easily access doctors and specialists within the comfort and familiarity of their daycare centre,” he said.
“As well as the long day care service and medical facilities, we are looking to have medical research space with a particular focus on child development, and an Early Years training college.
“We want to collaborate with Griffith University and the hospitals to give students real-life training opportunities and to advance globally significant research into best-practice child development.”
Kool Kids founder Bruce Coulson has planned a childcare centre and paediatric and medical care facility at the Gold Coast Health and Knowledge Precinct. Photo: Supplied Mr Coulson expects the project will create about 300 jobs in childcare, medicine, education and allied health and they intend it to be a provider under the National Disability Insurance Scheme.
The project has the support of Gold Coast Hospital and Health chairman Ian Langdon, who said it had the potential to change the lives of families of special needs kids.
Mr Langdon witnessed his own family’s challenges raising his grandson Ky, now 17, who has autism.
“It made me realise how little attention the community pays to the difficulties of parents in catering for the needs of these children from an early age,” he said.
Gold Coast Health chairman Ian Langdon with his grandson Ky Greenwood 17, who has autism and would have benefited from a centre like the one proposed. Picture Glenn Hampson.
“At the moment, parents of these children have to go here, there and everywhere for appointments.
“This is an exciting vision, a vision that’s completely compatible with what we want, what Griffith University wants and what the Gold Coast City Council wants in this precinct.”
Source: Gold Coast Bulletin