Richmondites can look forward to a decade of construction at the Richmond Hospital.
On Tuesday, the province announced it will cost $860.8 million to build a new north tower, renovate the south tower and expand emergency, mental health and diagnostics services with a final completion date of 2031.
The project’s original budget was about $350 million, but last summer the premier and minister of health came to Richmond to announce several hundred million dollars were being added to the budget.
Premier John Horgan said, at Tuesday’s announcement, they looked at the business plan and decided to make it bigger “to meet the needs of a growing population.”
Health Minister Adrian Dix added the “re-envisioned project” was necessary, and, if the initial concept plan had been built, it probably would have immediately needed to be expanded.
“It’s an extraordinary amount of money, but in the context of the things that will happen here at the hospital in the next decade, it’s absolutely affordable and it’s what’s needed,” Dix said.
Richmond Hospital was built in 1964 and Horgan said it is “decades beyond its best-before date.”
Extensive consultation was done with hospital staff and the Richmond Hospital Foundation to make the design function for those working in the building, Horgan added, and he touted the design of the plans, saying it shouldn’t be made of “duct tape and bailing twine.”
“This is a state-of-the-art facility that will be having professionals providing services to people,” Horgan said.
The new facility will be 100 per cent carbon neutral.
“We have to make sure, as we build our communities for the future, we’re doing that with climate change in mind and this project does that,” Horgan said.
The first phases of the Richmond Hospital rebuild include renovating the Milan Ilich Pavilion to accommodate cancer care and the mental health units which are currently located at Park Centre.
Park Centre will then be demolished to make way for the new north tower with 216 beds, expected to be completed by 2028.
This tower, called the Yurkovich Family Pavilion, will include an intensive care unit, an emergency department with 82 spaces, up from 60, and 11 operating rooms, up from eight.
There will also be more pre- and post-surgical care spaces, increasing from 26 to 69.
It will also have a fully equipped medical imaging department with four CT scanners and two MRIs, a pharmacy and short-stay pediatrics.
The south tower and the Milan Ilich Pavilion will then be renovated and expanded, with a completion date of 2029.
The pavilion will house the cancer care clinic, outpatient clinics and the UBC school of medicine while the south tower will have inpatient psychiatry, psychiatric emergency services, a maternity ward and neonatal intensive care unit.
The last phase will be to demolish the old north tower and build a power plant – this will begin in 2028 and be completed by 2031.
- with files from Kirsten Clarke