North-end hospital likely to open in September

  • May. 12, 2008 2:00 p.m.

By Alex Rinfret–Construction of the Masset hospital is slightly behind schedule but the new facility should be ready for its first patients by September, says Northern Health communications director Mark Karjaluoto. The neighbouring assisted living facility should also be ready around the same time, he said. Workers are now installing the floor in the new hospital, Mr. Karjaluoto said. “It is taking a bit longer than expected but we are happy with the performance of our contractor,” he said. The building is costing about $600,000 more than expected. The North West Regional Hospital District has agreed to contribute half of that amount, with the other half coming from the building contingency fund, Mr. Karjaluoto said. There’s no word yet on the name of the new hospital. The community has suggested naming it after Grace Frost, a nurse who worked in Old Massett and Masset. Mr. Karjaluoto said the Northern Health board will be endorsing a name – possibly at its May 22 meeting – and then forwarding its choice to the Ministry of Health, which makes the final decision. The new hospital is being built thanks to a partnership between the villages of Masset, Old Massett and Port Clements, which borrowed the money for construction. The loan will be paid back through lease payments from Northern Health. Northern Health will be holding an official opening ceremony for the new building once it’s finished. Mr. Karjaluoto said the many partners involved are looking forward to celebrating the completion. “This is huge, not just for the community, but for us too,” he said.