City of Courtenay applauds Provincial hospital funding
Thursday, April 26, 2012 - 3:37 PM
By Contributor: City of Courtenay
City of Courtenay Mayor and Council welcomed the news today that the provincial government, through the Ministry of Health, has given the green light for the North Island Hospitals Project, which includes a new hospital to be located in Courtenay.
“We are very pleased to see the province investing in this project as a major funding partner,” said Courtenay Acting Mayor Ronna Rae Leonard. “There are many steps involved in this project and this announcement is a highly significant one.”
A business case for both hospitals was submitted to the province by a Project Board which consists of representatives from the provincial government, the Comox-Strathcona Regional Hospital District, VIHA and Partnerships BC. The business case outlined a functional program and an indicative design for both hospitals and included enough detail to determine the required capital investment. The hospital projects will be jointly funded by the BC Government and the Comox-Strathcona Regional Hospital District, in a 60-40 split.
“There are many aspects to moving a major $334 million project ahead and we are committed to keeping residents, businesses and neighbours of the proposed hospital site informed,” said Acting Mayor Leonard. “We recognize that there are many questions about the project and we will be posting information on our own website to help keep people informed as the project progresses.”
As part of this effort the City will establish a Hospital Project Update page on the City of Courtenay website at http://www.courtenay.ca/hospitalproject . This page will feature project information and updates, outline opportunities for residents to learn about the project, and offer links to project design drawings as they become available.
“As the project proceeds, our staff will work closely with VIHA—the project lead—in the same way that we work with other developers who are involved in building major projects in Courtenay,” said Leonard. “Part of this process includes making sure that whatever is planned for the site fits within our design guidelines and satisfies our requirements around noise, light, traffic access and services. So far, from the indicative drawings they have presented to us, we are confident that this can be achieved. We also have confidence in Grant Hollett, Project Director with VIHA, who has guided other major hospital construction projects on Vancouver Island including those that are located in or near existing residential neighbourhoods.”
The proposed site for the Comox Valley hospital is on Lerwick Road adjacent to North Island College (NIC). VIHA has reached an agreement-in-principle with NIC to build the facility on this land. The City is also in discussion with VIHA about the purchase of City-owned property, which is adjacent to the NIC land. Discussions are also underway with VIHA on the temporary use of City property as a staging area, to the rear and east of the BC Hydro substation on Lerwick Road.
The proposed Comox Valley hospital site features road access to the North Island, CFB Comox, BC Ferries, and air facilities; services that are already in place (water, sewerage, storm drainage and road infrastructure); vicinity to a BC Hydro substation for power; an available treed area of approximately 10 acres of flat land which is easily prepared for construction; access that will not impact residential areas; and opportunities for synergies with the college and nearby commercial land.