Nicola Valley Hospital project costs increase; expansion to begin this summer

By on July 28, 2017
(Above) The current entrance to the Nicola Valley Hospital. (Below) Artist’s rendering of Nicola Valley Hospital and Health Centre emergency department entrance courtesy Kasian Architecture Interior Design and Planning Ltd.


Expanding the Nicola Valley Hospital’s emergency room will begin this summer, but with a higher than anticipated cost now that the Interior Health Authority (IHA) has hired a contractor.

True Construction Ltd. has been named the general contractor for the project, which has incurred a cost increase of about $900,000 to an anticipated $6.5 million budget.

The expansion was originally slated to cost $5.6 million, but the bids from the invitation to tender that closed on June 27 were all high.

“The three bids that we got back from that tender all come in higher than what we had originally set aside for the construction component of the project,” said IHA corporate director of facility management and operations Lorne Sisley.

He said they considered scaling back the project to bring it within the original budget, but realized there wasn’t any significant component of the work that was overpriced.

“We determined the bids we received were what the market was saying the value of that work was, so we needed to increase the budget for the project,” said Sisley. “Generally speaking we don’t gold-plate anything,” he said. “There isn’t a lot that we could scale back.”

Modifying the project would have also led to the need for additional design work and posting a new invitation to tender, which would have likely delayed the project and incurred additional costs.

“We want to get [the project] done sooner [rather] than later,” said Sisley, noting that there is a need to expand and modify the Merritt hospital’s emergency room.

The Thompson Regional Hospital District’s (TRHD) contribution will remain at $2.24 million for the project, he said, while the Nicola Valley Health Care Endowment Foundation and the Nicola Valley Health Care Auxiliary will raise $700,000 for equipment and furnishing.

The rest of the $6.5 million, including the additional $900,000, will be covered by the IHA.

Kamloops-based True Construction will work alongside Interior Health and Kasian Architecture Interior Design and Planning Ltd., who is the design consultant, for the duration of the project, stated a press release from the IHA.

A temporary entrance to the hospital will be created next to the current one, so as not to disrupt access to the building durning construction. The entrance will be accompanied by signage and lighting to direct patients around the work site.

A bird’s eye view of the Nicola Valley Hospital with the outline of the ER expansion in red. (Michael Potestio/Herald)

The project will expand the hospital’s ER from 100 square metres to approximately 500 square metres, and include features such as a covered ambulance bay, a separate ambulance entrance, confidential triage and registration spaces and a new nurse station.

“The expansion and renovation will strengthen emergency health services in the Coquihalla corridor and will improve patient confidentiality, allow for direct sightlines to patients, and enhance staff safety,” the release went on to state.

Once construction begins this summer, it is anticipated the expansion project will be completed by the fall of 2018.

One Comment

  1. glen rutherford

    July 31, 2017 at 10:24 am

    Finally NDP gets in power and we see some positive progress towards the problems with inadequate hospitals. Its been a long time coming!

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