People in Fort St. James and the surrounding area are one step closer to a modern hospital as a preferred proponent has been selected for the design phase.
“Our government is moving forward to deliver a new hospital in Fort St. James with the selection of a preferred proponent and signing of the design-early works agreement,” said Adrian Dix, Minister of Health. “This announcement means we are closer to seeing what the hospital will look like and getting shovels in the ground.”
Northern Health requested and received proposals from three shortlisted proponents for this stage of the procurement process, the design-early works agreement (DEWA). Those teams were Clark Builders, Graham Design Builders LP and SBW Wright Construction JV.
As a result of the evaluation process, in co-ordination with Northern Health and Infrastructure BC, Graham Design Builders LP was selected as the successful proponent.
A DEWA is a contractual agreement between the design builder and Northern Health, which gets the design phase underway. The next step includes issuing a draft design-build request for proposals and draft design-build agreement to the preferred proponent.
“The selection of a proponent for the DEWA is an important step in the development of a new hospital and primary care centre for Fort St. James and area,” said Colleen Nyce, board chair, Northern Health. “We look forward to the health service improvements this development will provide for people living in Fort St. James and the surrounding First Nations communities.”
The new hospital is expected to be three times larger in building size than the current facility with 27 beds, including 18 long-term care beds. There will be an emergency department with two treatment rooms, a trauma bay and ambulance bay. A laboratory and diagnostic imaging will be part of the new facility.
The hospital will include a primary care centre to consolidate services offered in Fort St. James at one location, reducing the distance patients and staff need to go for medical appointments, community health services, diagnostic imaging and lab services.
“This investment announcement within our region is tremendous news for the community of Fort St. James and the surrounding rural and First Nations populations that rely on the invaluable local health services provided from this facility, not only today, but now secured for the future,” said Jerry Petersen, chair, Stuart Nechako Regional Hospital District. “A long-term commitment to health care in Fort St. James alleviates pressures in our neighbouring communities, and for that, a well-deserved 'thank you' to the provincial government, Northern Health and regional hospital district elected officials and staff for your dedication and commitment to this project.”
The project budget of $116 million is cost shared between the Province through Northern Health and the Stuart-Nechako Regional Hospital District.