The Cariboo Chilcotin Regional Hospital District has formalized its commitment to the redevelopment of the Cariboo Memorial Hospital (CMH) in Williams Lake after approving a capital expenditure bylaw that authorizes nearly 87.1 million dollars or 40 percent of the overall cost of the project on Friday.
“I’m feeling really good, and I think there’s a little bit of continued concern in the community that this is just another announcement for the sake of an announcement,” chair Bob Simpson said. “I would like to assure everyone that the current provincial government has committed to this project, this is a real project. We’re just now in that kind of phase prior to putting a shovel in the ground of turning it into all of the construction design and things that are needed to put it out to bid, but this is a project that will happen and people should be seeing shovels in the ground in 2021.”
Interior Health said the total budget for the redevelopment of Cariboo Memorial Hospital as per its business plan is 217.7 million dollars.
It added that the entire procurement process will take approximately 18 months to complete with the subsequent construction phase approximately six years.
“We’ve already had conversations with Interior Health about making sure we get as much local economic benefit that we can; I think our taxpayers would expect that of us,” Simpson said.
“The problem with things like a hospital project it’s a very technical project, very high standards, it’s a real area of technical expertise to build something like that but they’ve (IH) committed to us that they will be looking for opportunities to engage our local contracting community and also the potential for local job creations through things like job fairs, but that will be down the line.”
(Editor’s Note: Listen to CCRHD chair Bob Simpson with the author of this report in the audio file below)