TERRACE, B.C. – The business plan for a new Mills Memorial Hospital in Terrace, B.C. has been completed, approved and is on time and on schedule.
The new hospital will be the level-three trauma and inpatient surgery centre for northwestern B.C., replacing the current trauma centre which stabilizes patients on-site before transporting them elsewhere.
“This is an exciting time for people in Terrace and area, as we are delivering on the goal of a modern, bigger hospital that will be part of a network of care in the North that will have more beds and up-to-date technology to improve patients’ care. The new facility will support the public health-care needs of local residents, as well as people in nearby communities, for decades to come,” B.C. Minister of Health Adrian Dix said.
“Premier John Horgan made the commitment in 2017 that this government would proceed with a new Mills Memorial after several years of delay. Thanks to the Premier following through, we will now proceed with the tendering of contracts, and shovels will be in the ground in 2020,” Dix added.
The project cost of $447.5 million will be shared between the provincial government through Northern Health with $110.2 million contributed through the North West Regional Hospital District.
“We are excited to see that the tremendous amount of work that has been underway has now resulted in this announcement. The North West Regional Hospital District Board has been committed to partnering with the Province and Northern Health Authority to see this project become a reality, to strengthen our existing services and to allow for increased health care closer to home for all Northwest residents,” North West Regional Hospital District chair Colleen Nyce said.
The 78-bed facility is expected to be twice the size of the current structure, going from 11,610 square metres to approximately 26,400 square metres. The hospital will have private rooms, two trauma bays, six stretcher bays, four operating rooms and pediatric care space.
A new and larger Seven Sisters regional mental health facility is also being built on hospital grounds with room for 25 beds, natural lighting and access to outdoor spaces for patients. The Mills Memorial Hospital will also have 20 of its 78 beds dedicated to adult inpatient psychiatric care.
The Mills Memorial facility will be built at the north end of the current hospital grounds with an estimated opening in 2024. Demolition of the existing facility will make room for parking and landscaping, and the mental health facility is expected to open in 2020.
Northern Health led the business planning process along with the Ministry of Health, the North West Regional Hospital District, and partners including First Nations Health Authority, Kitsumkalum Band, Kitselas Band and Nisga’a Lisims Government. The business plan finalizes details such as scope, budget and the procurement model. Next steps are the procurement process followed by construction.
The procurement model chosen is design-build, and the health authority will retain ownership throughout construction and will maintain the facility over its lifespan.