Hospital renovation process may start by year’s end

The process of getting renovations underway at La Verendrye hospital hopefully will take a step forward sometime in December, the CEO of Riverside Health Care Facilities Inc. said.
“The revised plans are now in the hands of the Ministry [of Health]. They’re certainly on board with it,” said Wayne Woods.
“The last time I talked with them was about two weeks ago,” he noted. “They said ‘We’ve reviewed the plans and now you have to get the working drawings done.’”
But while the process looks to move forward, Woods warned there’s still more steps to take before any actual work will begin.
“We still have to get a letter securing the funding. Then we get the working drawings done by the architect, and then we go out to tender,” he remarked.
The working drawings are what the architect gives to the contractors to work with when giving an estimate, added Woods.
The $8-million-plus job, originally estimated at $5.5 million before the ministry’s recommendations, will include improvements or total overhauls to the X-ray department, emergency room, operating rooms, and lab, and a new location for the dialysis unit on the south side of the building.
Woods noted the delay in the plans, which were submitted to the ministry earlier this year, has been a matter of fine-tuning.
“The most significant thing they [the ministry] wanted changed was the X-ray and emergency areas combined. Originally, we were going to separate them on different floors. But they said ‘no,’” Woods said, adding this would mean incorporating an expansion of the building into the renovation plans.
The expansion also would include re-locating the dialysis unit, which has been operational at La Verendrye since last month.
The extensive overhaul–which could take 18 months to two years to complete–will be funded by both the Riverside Foundation for Health Care’s “Care Close to Home” campaign and the provincial government.