Ground may soon be broken for the north end’s new hospital, construction could start in the spring for the eight-bed, $9.5-million facility, people attending public meetings in Masset and Old Massett heard Wednesday and Thursday.
The facility will be paid for by the Northwest Regional Hospital District and the Village of Masset, and be leased to Northern Health, which will operate it. It’s a pilot project in the province, the first in many years where the government has not owned a hospital directly.
“The Village of Masset will borrow the money-$5.7-million,” Mayor Barry Pages told the group in Old Massett Thursday evening. “It’s within our borrowing powerÂ…We are pretty confident,” he said, “we have a 25-year lease signed by all three parties. It is a not for profit lease arrangement.”
The 24,000 square foot facility is on “one of the best sites I have worked on in my life,” architect Shelley Craig said. She also noted that the three communities, Masset, Old Massett and Port Clements had come together and worked on the project in a “really progressive manner”. She said all rooms in the hospital-four long-term and four acute care-will all have good views of the water, that trees will be preserved on the site, and the facility will incorporate a clinic, emergency department, community health facilities, a physiotherapy room, as well as kitchen and laundry services.
Peter Kallos,the development manager for the project said its scope has not changed recently, although costs are increasing and the budget is now $9.5-million.
The design team is now down to the fine tuning, and said the design is flexible, and may allow more patients than the eight currently allowed for, if provincial funding changes, Sue Beckermann, the Northern Health Authority’s health services administrator said.
The hospital is to be built on provincial land between Masset and Old Massett.
About 35 people attended the meeting in Masset on Wednesday, about the same number in Old Massett on Thursday. A third public meeting was held in Port Clements Thursday afternoon, but no one attended.
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