Hospital construction to begin in July

No day care in the plans for new Courtenay hospital

construction site

construction site

There will be a bus stop near the front entrance but a day care is not in the plans for a new regional hospital in Courtenay, says Tom Sparrow, chief project officer for the North Island Hospitals Project.

Prep work is complete and construction is slated to begin in the summer. The facility, which will be located next to North Island College, is slated to commence service by April 30, 2017, as is a new hospital in Campbell River.

“We recognize that time is very important,” Sparrow said Monday at Courtenay committee of the whole. “Construction will start early-July.”

Negotiations are being finalized with Tandem Health Partners, the selected proponent.

The project is in the schematic design review phase which is being carried out in a manner that respects the heritage and history of the Valley. An Aboriginal Working Group is part of the design group.

Responding to a question from Coun. Doug Hillian, Sparrow said there have been numerous meetings with neighbours to address concerns about noise and other impacts during construction.

“We know who the local folks are in the community,” he said.

At 27,000 square metres, the state-of-the-art hospital in Courtenay will have about 70 per cent more space than St. Joseph’s General Hospital in Comox. It will contain 153 beds. The facility will expand services to meet population growth and aging, and establish selected new services for the North Island.

The Campbell River and District General Hospital will be replaced with a 95-bed facility.

Total cost of the project is $600 million: $334 million for the Valley hospital and $266 million for Campbell River. The Comox Strathcona Regional Hospital District will contribute 40 per cent to the overall project, approximately $240 million.

Preliminary employment numbers indicate the project will create about 1,100 direct jobs in the Valley during construction.

About 800 trees and shrubs will be planted in buffer zones before the project is complete.

The project team is hosting quarterly open houses in both communities. The next session is tentatively scheduled for Sept. 9 at the Stan Hagen Theatre at NIC.

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