Three design builders have been shortlisted for the $217.8-million renovation and expansion of Cariboo Memorial Hospital in Williams Lake.
Interior Health Authority announced Wednesday, Dec. 23, five teams responded by the July 15, 2020 deadline to take on the project.
From the five, three were shortlisted: Bird Design-Build Construction Inc. of Calgary, Alta., Graham Design Builders LP of Delta, B.C. and PCL West Coast Constructors LTD of Richmond, B.C.
“It’s exciting,” B.C. health minister Adrian Dix told the Tribune. “There is only a select group of companies that can do this hospital work so we were very happy to have three qualified bidders.”
All three proponents been given a request for proposal (RPF) and are being asked to prepare a more detailed design for an anticipated final selection in spring 2021.
A three-storey new addition and renovations of the current hospital, as well as an inter-faith sacred space on the main floor of the new building for traditional, sacred cultural and healing practices, will be part of the redevelopment.
The construction will be done in two phases.
Phase one will see a three-storey addition completed, while phase two will renovate the existing site. Features of the project include a new and expanded emergency department, expanded ambulatory care and maternal and women’s health units, a dedicated mental health and substance use inpatient unit, a multi-purpose gathering room and space for the University of British Columbia’s Faculty of Medicine programs.
Praising the Cariboo Chilcotin Regional Hospital District for its work to date, Dix said the importance of hospitals and health care is at a high right now due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but work toward redeveloping CMH has been going on for a long time locally.
“Williams Lake is always a special hospital project for me because it was the first one I announced as health minister. That was a really great day and it would be nice to be out on the balcony outside the cafeteria there again, but I think people understand we aren’t doing those kinds of things these days,” he added.
Interior Health noted an Aboriginal stakeholder group, Williams Lake area First Nations, Métis and urban Aboriginal groups have and will continue to provide guidance and input toward the redevelopment.
“CMH Redevelopment is a top priority for Interior Health,” noted Interior Health board chair Doug Cochrane in a news release. “Improving services and enhancing culturally-sensitive health care for the people of Williams Lake and the Cariboo is very important. Today’s milestone brings us one step closer to starting construction.”
The Ministry of Health is contributing 60 per cent of the budget and the Cariboo Chilcotin Regional Hospital District is funding 40 per cent.
Dix said the timeline for the project is on track.
“It feels good and shows how hard people have been working and what a priority this project is. I want to give folks at Interior Health credit for that but also locally.”
The level of support for hospital projects is often high, but it is ‘uncommonly’ high in the Cariboo Chilcotin, Dix added.