By Marike Gevers
Over the years, we’ve adapted to the growing need to supply the Western Cape with a safe and sufficient blood supply. This also meant employing more staff, moving premises, acquiring more testing machines, and opening more blood banks and blood donation clinics. In April 1990, we moved our head office from Medipark on the Foreshore to our current premises in Old Mill Road, Ndabeni, where we operated from for 32 years.
As we continue to grow, we investigated the possibility of expanding our current premises. However, we realised that it will not be able to cater for our current and future growth. A search for an easily modifiable building was done, but none were found. The investigation was expanded to seek suitable land for development, which resulted in finding the perfect spot in Alexandra Road in Maitland, and development started in November 2021.
Needs that were considered:
- Consolidate buildings onto one site – as our warehouse is currently situated in Beaconvale,
- Easy accessibility for deliveries, collections, visitors and staff,
- More parking,
- Enable workflow efficiencies – all laboratories on ground level,
- Efficient use of space to allow for future expansion,
- Energy-efficient and sustainable building.
We are now in the final stretch of completion of our fit-for purpose premises. The entire building, including the warehouse, is complete and has its first coat of paint. When you enter the site, you will see a more modern and sleek design that will be well represented in our corporate branding. Aircons and staircase railings are being installed, wiring is almost complete, most departments have been tiled, and some have carpets as finishing touches. For space optimisation most departments have gone open-plan. There will be a sustainable waterwise pond outside the canteen area – covered by a deck for staff to enjoy a lunch break, and our building will feature a lift and a skywalk between the main building and the warehouse.
October marks the 12th month since construction started, and with only 1 month to go, the completion date is set for November 2022. We will relocate gradually over a 3-month period, as a blood service we cannot afford downtime. We’re looking forward to new beginnings as we bid farewell to Old Mill Road.