Completion of renovations to Arrow Lakes Hospital’s emergency rooms is now expected in the spring. Photo: John Boivin

Construction snafu delays Arrow Lakes hospital renos

Arrow Lakes Hospital rebuild now expected to be finished this spring

Like most home improvement projects, the work being done at the Arrow Lakes Hospital is taking a little longer than expected.

The $2.1 million renovation to the hospital’s emergency ward was supposed to be done by the end of last year.

That’s now been pushed into this spring.

“Construction on the Arrow Lakes emergency department redevelopment was temporarily suspended in the fall,” says Barbie Kalmakoff, director of clinical operations for Arrow Lakes Hospital, explaining the delay. “The work stoppage lasted about five weeks, and we anticipate full project completion in the early spring.”

The issue behind the work stoppage was the “hoarding,” the barrier between the area under construction and the rest of the hospital.

“Because all services are being maintained throughout this construction, it was important to ensure that the construction area was sectioned off to ensure dust and dirt did not enter patient areas, which would create an infection control risk,” says Kalmakoff. “As with projects of this nature, there are many variables and an issue arose in the fall related to the hoarding that had been set up at the site, which sections off the worksite being renovated from the hospital.”

There’s no detail on what the problem was with the hoarding that caused the work stoppage.

Kalmakoff says the issue was dealt with by early December and construction resumed.

She says any additional costs associated with the delay will be borne by the contractor and will not impact IH’s budget for the project.

The renovation, announced in January 2018, includes building two new trauma bays, a renovated patient exam bays to improve privacy, new utility rooms, and an enclosed multipurpose meeting room for family consultations or waiting space during trauma situations.

The $2.1 million project is being funded through the Province of B.C. and the West Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital District, with capital equipment needs being supported by the Arrow Lakes Hospital foundation and Arrow Lakes Health Care Auxiliary Society.

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