Hospital aims to start renovations next month

After working at getting the project off the ground for more than two years, Riverside Health Care Facilities, Inc. finally should see the shovel in the earth to start Phase IV renovations at La Verendrye Hospital here this spring.
“At this point, we’re still meeting with the architect and the contractor, going over the plans and finalizing things,” said Riverside CEO Wayne Woods.
“The ministry [of Health and Long-term Care] has given us the go ahead.
“I suspect the contract will be awarded in the next two weeks. After that, we can get started,” Woods added, noting the board has known who the right contractor will be for several months but can’t announce that until the deal is signed.
Once the $10-million project gets underway, Woods admitted hospital staff and administration have a big job ahead of them.
“There’s a lot of phasing that has to take place. It’s going to be delicate work to change things around while continuing to offer our services—we can’t exactly close down during the renovations,” he remarked.
The work is estimated to take 18-24 months.
The extensive project will include improvements or total overhauls to the X-ray department, emergency room, operating rooms, and lab.
The expansion also will include re-locating the dialysis unit and possibly getting a computerized tomography (CT) imaging unit, which has the ability to image a combination of soft tissue, bone, and blood vessels.
The first stage of the renovations will be expanding the parking lot to make room for employee, visitor, and contractor vehicles, as well as a structural expansion of the hospital to the south.
Riverside Community Counselling Services and the Valley Diabetes Education Centre also have been moved from their former buildings located east of the hospital into the old St. Mary’s rectory on Victoria Avenue.