The excavation is nearly complete and foundation work is underway at the new hospital in Courtenay, which is nearing the end of the design stage.
When construction of the regional facility is completed in 2017, the interior will boast a green look, as per a forest concept. The roof will contain a heliport and the parking lot 655 stalls, 362 of them in a parkade that will include 50 bicycle stalls.
The state-of-the-art hospital will also contain gardens and walking paths connecting to North Island College.
“We do have a strong working relationship with the college,” Tom Sparrow, chief project officer of the North Island Hospitals Project, said in a Monday presentation to Courtenay council. “It’s quite exciting. They’re making a lot of progress on the project. (But) We still have a lot of work to do.”
About 77 per cent of the workers on site are local.
At 27,000 square metres, the facility will contain about 70 per-cent more space than St. Joseph’s General Hospital. If necessary, Sparrow said Island Health has the ability to expand the site by 63,000 square feet. But he notes the project is not just about bricks and mortar.
Aside from the aforementioned relationship with NIC, Island Health has also partnered with such organizations as the Aboriginal Training Society, and school districts in the Valley and Campbell River, where a new hospital is also being constructed.
Coun. Rebecca Lennox asked about the procurement of local food once the hospital cafeteria opens. At present, Island Health provides food, though Sparrow said a traditional food program is being discussed with the K’ómoks First Nation.
For more information visit nihp.viha.ca.