Premier Christy Clark's announcement, Wednesday, that the Penticton Regional Hospital is getting a new tower brought the crowd in attendance at a chamber of commerce luncheon to their feet.
"As Penticton continues to grow, so does the demand on services Penticton families rely on, including the hospital. We committed to moving forward with a new patient care tower, and today we're moving forward," she said. "This is a crucial step in the right direction."
The hospital tower will include approximately 26,700 square metres of new health care facilities. This project will significantly improve access to services and improve patient care through the consolidation of programs currently distributed throughout the hospital.
A request for qualifications will now be prepared seeking qualified companies to design, build, finance and maintain the new tower. The RFQ is expected to be released later this summer.
Following evaluation of responses to the RFQ, up to three companies will be shortlisted and invited to submit responses to a request for proposals.
A successful proponent will be selected from that process. The entire procurement process will take approximately 18 months to complete.
The project will be completed in two phases. Phase one will include the construction of a new patient care tower. The tower will have a new walk-in care centre, surgical services centre, 84 medical/surgical inpatient beds in single patient rooms, a new medical device reprocessing unit and space for the UBC Faculty of Medicine Program.
Phase two will involve the renovation of vacated areas in the current hospital to allow the expansion of the emergency department into a space almost four times the size of the current department, as well as renovations to existing support areas of pharmacy, laundry and material, (supplies and equipment), stores. The construction of the new tower and renovations to the existing building will take about three and a half years.
The total budget for the project is $325 million. It will be funded jointly by the provincial government, with $122 million provided by the Okanagan-Similkameen Regional Hospital District and $20 million provided by the South Okanagan-Similkameen Medical Foundation. It is expected to create more than 1,910 jobs for workers over the life of the project.
Clark also discussed support for the Challenge triathlon, education, agriculture, changes to liquor laws in BC, the growth of small business and new jobs generated by the LNG industry, in her speech to chamber members at the luncheon held at the Penticton Lakeside Resort.