Premier Christy Clark has officially opened Kelowna General Hospital’s new tower and new clinical support services building.
Clark, who earlier in the day opened a new supportive housing project in Rutland,
called the addition of the new six-storey Centennial tower and the Dr. Walter Anderson clinical support services building, along with a recently completed patient care tower at Vernon’s Jubilee Hospital, the biggest investment in healthcare ever in the Okanagan.
“The Centennial Building, with its new operating suites, vastly expanded emergency department and new ambulatory care department, will directly and immediately benefit patients and their families,” said Clark Friday. “These new buildings will serve Kelowna residents for years to
The $218-million Centennial Building was funded as part of the Kelowna and Vernon Hospitals Projects, worth approximately $435 million)while the $39-million Anderson Building was funded through the Interior Heart and Surgical Centre Project, worth approximately $448 million.
The heart centre is to be built on the the site of the existing Pandosy building at the hospital, the old part of KGH. It is slated to be complete in 2016.
Clark said Since 2002, the provincial government and partners have invested nearly $1 billion in capital projects in Interior Health.
Patients are to be moved into the new tower at KGH on Sunday.
The new Centennial Building was completed on budget and ahead of schedule, and will add a total of 33,445 square metres to the KGH site. It will consolidate and modernize programs and services to improve health service delivery.
Clark said through the tow-city building project at the hospitals, 2,700 construction jobs were created over the last three years.
The Centennial Building has been designed to allow for a major increase in capacity over the next 12 years.
Clark noted that KHG is a teaching hospital and with the UBC medical school campus, more doctors will be trained here who will likely stay in the B.C Interior.
As part of the project, the The Dr. Walter Anderson Building, linked to the Centennial Building
by an enclosed pedestrian sky bridge over Pandosy Street, will become home to KGH’s laboratory and clinical support departments, and will allow for the relocation of existing hospital departments in order to empty out the Pandosy building so it can be demolished to make way for the new cardiac care centre. Demolition is expected to take place before the end of the year The IHSC project will create a permanent home for the fifth provincial cardiac surgery program in B.C. – and the first one outside of Metro Vancouver and Vancouver Island. Once complete, the
cardiac program is expected to provide services to about 1,600 cardiac patients.
In his remarks, Central Okanagan Regional District chairman Robert Hobson, speaking on behalf of the regional hospital district, reiterated the districts offer to pay the addition of a fourth floor on the planned new three storey heart centre.
But when asked about it later, Clark was noncommittal.
“Today marks a significant milestone in patient care for our region,” said Hobson. “Our residents have supported these projects from the beginning, and to see that investment come to
fruition like this is very exciting.”
The hospital district contributed $100 million to the Centennial tower cost and also lent the province $90 million for the project as well, he said.
Since 2007, KHG has seen the addition of the the Centennial Building, the UBC faculty of medicine campus building, two parkades, and the Anderson clinical support services building.
Next up will be the heart centre.