EDMONTON – The construction firm fighting with the Alberta government over the Grande Prairie Regional Hospital says the province has crippled the project with slapdash planning, poor budgeting and bad faith negotiations.
In a statement, Graham Construction says Alberta Infrastructure has been ordering up so many design changes that completed work has had to be torn down.
The company is responding to a demand issued this week by Infrastructure Minister Sandra Jansen on the $763-million project.
Jansen says the Calgary-based firm is on track to miss the completion deadline and has asked for an extra $120 million with no justifiable reason.
She has given Graham 15 days to deliver a plan to get the project back on schedule or see its $510-million contract cancelled.
But Graham says it has repeatedly warned the province that the hospital can’t be done under the current budget given the design changes.
It says Jansen’s claim of a request for an extra $120 million is false and her office has been cancelling meetings.
“Until the scope changes stop, and sufficient budget is provided, no construction manager can properly establish a final cost or properly plan and complete the project,” said Graham.
“(Alberta Infrastructure’s) recent actions are a regrettable example of ‘shooting the messenger.’”
The hospital, when completed, will provide space for everything from acute care to cancer treatment, obstetrics, MRI services and surgery to patients in northwestern Alberta.
Alberta Health Services says the shell and roof of the hospital had been completed, along with insulation and windows. Construction on the inside – including framing, drywalling, piping and electrical – is 70 per cent done.