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Billions worth of hospital construction helping to spur B.C.’s economy

Grant Cameron
Billions worth of hospital construction helping to spur B.C.’s economy
COURTESY PROVIDENCE HEALTH CARE — The $2.174-billion St. Paul's Hospital in Vancouver is the largest hospital redevelopment project in British Columbia's history. PCL put shovels in the ground for St. Paul's hospital at 1002 Station St. in False Creek Flats in March. The structure is expected to take roughly six years to build.

Hospital construction projects are leading the way in the Vancouver area, with $6.76 billion in work either planned or on the books.

Projects that have already started include a massive new $2.174-billion St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver — the largest hospital redevelopment project in British Columbia’s history — and the second phase of the estimated $1.49 billion, three-phase redevelopment at Royal Columbian Hospital in New Westminster.

A $612-million contract has been awarded, meanwhile, for the first phase of a $1.4-billion redevelopment of Burnaby Hospital, and an estimated $1.66-billion build of a second hospital in Surrey is expected to start in 2023.

The new hospitals are all being built to a LEED Gold standard.

PCL put shovels in the ground for St. Paul’s hospital at 1002 Station St. in False Creek Flats in March. The structure is expected to take roughly six years to build, creating more than 8,500 jobs and another 5,400 indirect jobs in the construction materials manufacturing and food services industries.

The new project had been discussed for more than a decade-and-a-half until it was given the green light.

 

St. Paul's Hospital in Vancouver will be a full-service, acute-care facility and integrated health campus with capacity for up to 548 beds. The existing St. Paul's hospital will be relocated from its home on Burrard Street once the new one is completed.
COURTESY PROVIDENCE HEALTH CARE — St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver will be a full-service, acute-care facility and integrated health campus with capacity for up to 548 beds. The existing St. Paul’s hospital will be relocated from its home on Burrard Street once the new one is completed.

 

The hospital will be a full-service, acute-care facility and integrated health campus with capacity for up to 548 beds. The existing St. Paul’s hospital will be relocated from its home on Burrard Street once the new one is completed.

“This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to build an innovative new hospital and health campus from the ground up to better serve B.C. for the next 125 years,” said Providence Health Care president and CEO Fiona Dalton. “A new building will allow us to also re-examine how we will provide clinical care and improve our patient, family and staff experience in a modern, more technologically advanced facility.”

Work on the second phase of the Royal Columbian Hospital project began this summer and is moving forward.

EllisDon is building a new acute-care tower that will increase the capacity of the facility by 50 per cent to 675 beds, with more space for intensive care, cardiac intensive care, and a new and larger emergency department.

The tower will have four more operating rooms, including one for cardiac patients, a two-level underground parkade and rooftop helipad.

In mid-May, the first pour of concrete for the acute care tower took place, with more than 100 concrete trucks bringing material to the site. The final crane for the project was installed earlier this month.

The three phases of the hospital redevelopment will transform almost every part of the hospital.

The first phase of the project, the build of a mental health and substance use centre started in 2016, was completed last summer. The second phase is expected to be completed in 2025 and the third phase, an upgrade and expansion of the existing health care centre and Columbia tower, will start in 2023 and be completed in 2026.

In January, Fraser Health signed a construction management agreement for phase three of the project with EllisDon.

Chief project officer Sharat Chandra said COVID-19 added a layer of complexity to the project and resulted in the majority of the design engagements being done remotely.

“When we layer all this effort, along with the completion on the phase one project, and a worldwide pandemic, this achievement is amazing. It’s exciting to be able to move forward with phase two and start to see construction begin on site.”

EllisDon has also been awarded the contract for the first phase of the Burnaby Hospital project that will include renovation of existing buildings on the campus, construction of a six-storey, 83-bed pavilion with underground parking and expansion of a support facilities building to include a new energy centre. The buildings are expected to be completed in 2025, with the renovations finished in 2027.

Mental Health and Addictions Minister Sheila Malcolmson said the redevelopment will be a “game changer” for those who need mental health care.

“Together, we’re building a system where treatment for mental health is on par with any other health condition. I’m grateful to everyone involved in making this redevelopment a reality.”

The second phase of the redevelopment, which includes building a second patient-care tower with 160 beds and a new cancer treatment centre, is expected to begin in 2025, once the business plan is approved.

The last major upgrade to the Burnaby Hospital was more than 40 years ago.

Meanwhile, a site has been purchased for the second Surrey hospital and the project is moving to the business-planning phase.

The new hospital will be built in Cloverdale beside the Kwantlen Polytechnic University campus at 5500 180 St.

The hospital will have inpatient beds, an emergency department, operating rooms, laboratory and diagnostic services, and outpatient services.

“We are now all systems go for a second hospital in Surrey,” Health Minister Adrian Dix said in a recent statement announcing the hospital. “This is a key commitment to help meet the health-care needs of Surrey’s rapidly growing community.”

Discussions on the project scope and budget have started and, upon approval of the business plan, the project will proceed to procurement and then construction.

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