North Island Hospitals site preparation phase complete


The site preparation phase of the North Island Hospitals Project at the Campbell River Hospital is over with the completion of the final component in December.
After more than 51 years of providing Public Health and other services, the Community Care building at 110 Birch Street came down in just a few short hours on December 2nd. This was the final step making way for construction of the new $266 million, 95-bed Campbell River Hospital. The deconstruction project finished sooner than originally planned after the old structure was found to contain less hazardous building material than anticipated.
According to Arthur Lightfoot’s publication People of Worth, the Public Health Building was completed in July 1962. Built south of the hospital along Birch Street on land donated by the Village of Campbell River, the building was originally home to Public Health, the Cancer Society, Canadian Red Cross and the Welfare Department. Over the last 51 years, the building has accommodated a wide variety of programs in which dedicated staff have served countless patients.
Most recently the building housed Home and Community Care programs including:
• Home Nursing Care
• Mental Health for Seniors
• Community Liaison
• Community Rehab
• Home Support
• Health Services for Community Living
• Nursing Support Services
• Social Work
• Palliative and End-of-Life Care
• Case Management.
In an impressive weekend move, Home and Community Care relocated to its new home at 930 Island Highway on November 16th and 17th. Staff were back at work in the new location on Monday November 18th.
Site preparation work to make way for the new Campbell River Hospital began in March 2013 after the site preparation contract was awarded to Nanaimo’s Palladian Developments. As well as the Community Care Building deconstruction, Campbell River site preparation work included:
• Deconstruction of the south end of the Sunshine Wellness Centre (SWC)
• Construction of a temporary ambulance access road around the south end of the Sunshine Wellness Centre
• Installation of two modular trailers to house displaced administrative health services and project management offices at the corner of Birch and 2nd Avenue
• Construction of two temporary gravel parking lots west of Yucalta Lodge.
Site preparation work was less extensive in the Comox Valley where Courtenay-based Leighton Contracting Ltd. began work in February 2013 to make way for the $334 million, 153-bed Comox Valley Hospital. Work at the previously undeveloped site near Lerwick and Ryan roads in Courtenay included:
• Tree removal
• Hydro-seeding
• Construction of a landscaped buffer zone and walkway along the hospital site/ North Island College boundary
• Installation of a fenced, landscaped walkway along the hospital/Queneesh School boundary.
NIHP Chief Project Officer Tom Sparrow says the site preparation projects have been a valuable experience.
“I think it’s an excellent stepping stone and learning experience for all stakeholders,” he said. “It’s provided valuable insight and a better understanding of the kind of work that we will be doing over the next three to four years. We will be working closely with the clinical and non-clinical teams that will continue with their daily operations during the hospital construction period.
“The site prep work has helped us to develop some processes and a better understanding of the relationships that need to be created now, ensuring a very successful project when it comes time for construction of the new facilities.
“There are so many people to thank for their assistance, understanding and patience with this important work, from the dedicated hospital staff and hospital users, to the site preparation contractors, project neighbours and members of the public. This work has cleared the way for construction of the two new hospitals to begin this year.”

The Community Care building on Birch Street came down in just a few hours last month.

The Community Care building on Birch Street came down in just a few hours in December.