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New KGH tower complete

The new Centennial Tower at Kelowna General Hospital. - contributed
The new Centennial Tower at Kelowna General Hospital.
— image credit: contributed

Construction of the new six-storey patient care tower at Kelowna General Hospital is complete.

Officials with  Interior Health and Infusion Health, the consortium that build the $250-million building, will celebrate the milestone today with a brief ceremony to symbolically "hand over the keys" to the tower.

"It's basically like when you have a house built. Now we can move in the furniture," said Cam McAlpine, spokesman for the project.

Over the next four month, the buildings systems will be tested, furniture and equipment will be moved in and, most importantly, the 2,500 people who will work in the new tower will be trained and oriented to their new work surroundings.

The building will open for full public operation May 27.

The 360,000-square-foot tower will feature new locations for several hospital departments including emergency, operating rooms, renal dialysis, psychiatric, eye care outpatient programs, additional beds and other patient care facilioties.

Part of a huge expansion at KGH that will take another five years to complete, the tower is the largest of four major buildings being added to the hospital. The others are the now completed $14-million UBC Southern Interior Medical School campus, the $47 million clinical support building and the planned new $448-million cardiac care centre. Some of the departments moving into the new tower will vacate buildings and areas of the existing hospital that will be demolished to make room for the new cardiac care centre. The last major expansion at KGH was in 1992 when the Royal Tower was built.

Meanwhile the the three-storey, 84,000-square-foot clinical support building, located across Pandosy Street from the main KGH campus and connected to the new tower via a third-storey enclosed skybridge, is slated nearing completion. It is slated to open at the same time as the Centennial Tower. That building will contain the hospital's new laboratory facilities.

The huge investment in KGH, totalling more than $750 million over eight years, will consolidate the hospital as the major tertiary care centre outside of the Lower Mainland and Greater Victoria.

The testing on the new tower will be carried out by Interior Health and Black and McDonald Ltd., one of the three companies in the consortium that build and and will manage the new tower for IHA as part of the public-privte partnership. The other companies in the consortium are Graham Construction, which built the tower and Stantec, which designed several facets of the project.

 

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