Machinery at the new Mills Memorial Hospital site In anticipation of a construction start on May 28, 2021. (Binny Paul/Terrace Standard)

Machinery at the new Mills Memorial Hospital site In anticipation of a construction start on May 28, 2021. (Binny Paul/Terrace Standard)

Terrace hospital project inches closer to construction start

Equipment now being moved to location

The multi-national construction company which is negotiating a final contract to build the $447.5 million replacement for Mills Memorial Hospital, along with a new Seven Sisters mental health facility, has begun moving equipment and machinery to the construction site.

PCL Construction, the company which the provincial government and the Northern Health Authority so far hasn’t acknowledged as the prime contractor, has already signed early works financial agreements sufficient for it to prepare for construction between the current Mills and the Sande Overpass.

Actual work, however, will not begin until that final financial agreement, called a design-build agreement, has been signed.

Recent minutes of a local committee struck to provide advice to Northern Health indicate that the final agreement is now before the provincial Treasury Board made up of senior cabinet ministers awaiting a final decision and that late May and early June is the target time for construction to start.

Based on a start according to those available timelines, the new Mills will be finished in Dec. 2025. Demolition of the old hospital and landscaping will be finished in Nov. 2026.

There’ll be construction activity 11 hours a day every day of the week so as to speed completion, a request made by the contractor and granted by city council.

First to be built will be a new Seven Sisters at 25 beds, five more than the current one. That’s because the current Seven Sisters needs to be demolished to make room for the new Mills.

Although a final agreement has not been announced, PCL has already secured an initial permit on behalf of Northern Health for the construction of a foundation, pegging the value of this work at $18.224 million.

A full building permit is scheduled to be granted this fall, indicates a memo from city development services director David Block prepared for council.

And the city has already struck a deal to improve the stretch of Haugland that runs along the southern border of the hospital property.

The current narrow asphalt surface, which has been in poor repair for years, is to be widened to nine metres as required by a city bylaw and will be accompanied by a concrete curb and gutter and storm drainage at a projected cost of $104,394 to be covered by the developer.

The new Mills will be roughly twice the size of the current facility which was built in 1959 and which is considered well past its prime.

From the current 44 beds, the new Mills will have 78 beds in different departments.

The main medical ward is to increase to 36 beds from the current 24, five new beds will make up a northwest orthopedic ward by consolidating that service from other facilities, the intensive card ward will be eight beds, up from the current five, and the regional psychiatric unit will double in size from 10 beds to 20 beds.

Instead of rooms containing four beds and inadequate washrooms, patients will now have their own rooms, meeting a standard that’s now accepted in other new hospitals.

Plans also call for a doubling of the emergency department from 10 to 20 treatment spaces and four operating rooms, up from three.

Still to be revealed is the size of the workforce, who will be hired and for those workers from out of town, where they will be living.

Projections provided by PCL and made available in the company search for workforce camp locations, indicate as many as 350 outside people will be needed during the course of the multi-year construction project.

The company has been looking at sites at the Skeena Industrial Development Park, just off Hwy37 south of the Northwest Regional Airport.

Just Posted

Caledonia Secondary School is the recipient of a $50,000 grant to replace its aging science equipment. (File photo)
Cal snags major grant to modernize science equipment

The $50,000 comes from a pharmaceutical company

Unemployment rate drops in northwestern B.C.

Large improvement since Spring 2020

Uplands Nursery this year will do all of the 4600 Block of Lazelle Ave., beginning at its east end, and a portion of the 4700 Block. (File photo)
Lazelle sidewalk project begins June 14

Improvements coming to 4600 and 4700 Blocks

Cassie Hall Elementary School students pose for a picture in their garden. Since 2019, students and staff at the school have been attending to the garden project. (Binny Paul/Terrace Standard)
Cassie Hall students grow a green sanctuary at school

The K-6 elementary school students and staff have been working on the garden project since 2019

Glenn Bennett returns as chief councillor for Kitselas First Nation after June 10 elections. (Submitted photo)
Kitselas First Nation votes Glenn Bennett as chief councillor on June 10

Six council members were also elected from a packed pool of candidates

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

“They will never be forgotten, every child matters,” says Sioux Valley Chief Jennifer Bone in a video statement June 1. (Screen grab)
104 ‘potential graves’ detected at site of former residential school in Manitoba

Sioux Valley Dakota Nation working to identify, repatriate students buried near former Brandon residential school

The Queen Victoria statue at the B.C. legislature was splattered with what looks like red paint on Friday. (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff)
Queen Victoria statue at B.C. legislature vandalized Friday

Statue splattered with red paint by old growth forest proponents

Police cars are seen parked outside Vancouver Police Department headquarters on Saturday, January 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Vancouver police officer charged with assault during an arrest in 2019

The service has released no other details about the allegations

Most Read