MONTREAL -- Quebec is fast-tracking a construction plan after seeing how much it could have helped this spring. The province will build seniors’ homes that are designed to limit infection and provide a more humane environment—a project first announced next fall, and now more urgent than ever.

The first in the new generation of long-term care homes will be built on a piece of land next to the Pierre Boucher Hospital in Longueuil, on St. Jacques Blvd.

It will have 72 units, Quebec’s minister responsible for seniors, Marguerite Blais, announced on Monday.

Forty-eight of those units will be for the elderly, she said. The remaining 24 units will be for adults with special needs.

The design plans the province announced last fall seem tailor-made to avoid the kind of havoc that has been wreaked by the coronavirus in the province’s older long-term care homes.

Each of the 72 units will have a private bathroom and bedroom, plus sinks and dedicated areas for professionals to wash their hands and change clothes, allowing them to don fresh gowns and other medical gear.

The air-conditioning and ventilationsystems are designed to limit infection. There will also be accommodations for family members who need to visit and to spend the night.

Common areas will also be bigger, Minister Blais explained in a news conference.

The units “will hve also a bigger living room and dining room, so it’s going to be easier to have physical [distancing],” she said. “Everything will be [designed] to make sure that we can prevent infection.”

The new buildings aren’t cheap: each of the 72 units is estimated to cost $600,000 to build. The province has set aside $2.6 billion to renovate existing long-term care homes and to build new ones.

The new building in Longueil is slated to be ready in 2022.

 See the drawings that accompanied the original plans in CTV's story from last fall.