St. Catharines - Groundbreaking for the Niagara Health System's new health-care complex and Walker Family Cancer Centre took place today when Jim Bradley, MPP for St. Catharines, joined hospital officials, community members, fundraising volunteers and health-care partners at the site for the official ceremony.
The state-of-the-art health-care complex to be located at First Street and Fourth Avenue in St. Catharines will replace the aging St. Catharines General Site and Ontario Street Site and will provide new regional services never before available in Niagara, including radiation treatment for cancer, as well as new treatments for heart disease and longer-term mental health disease.
The ground was officially broken by It's Our Time fundraising campaign patient heroes on four excavators driven by operators from Walker Industries, Matt's Excavating, Rankin Construction and PCL Constructors.
PCL, the constructor for the project, intends to maximize the use of local sub-trades and has indicated that the majority of the on-site labour will go to tradespersons in the Golden Horseshoe Area.
PCL will be calling for tenders from pre-qualified sub contractors for the project. The majority of tendering activity will take place in early 2010. Firm commitments for portions of the work have already been made during the proposal stage of the project to subcontractors who participated in developing the lump sum construction cost.
Construction of the new facility will be completed by the end of 2012, which means the new health-care complex will open its doors to patients in 2013.
To be located at First Street and Fourth Avenue in St. Catharines, the new health-care complex project will provide a sizeable boost to the regional and Ontario economies during construction by directly and indirectly supporting and creating approximately 5,400 jobs, many of which will be in the Niagara region. At the peak of construction activity, about 1,000 workers are expected on the site daily. Approximately 200 new health-care jobs will be created once the facility opens to support the new regional services in cancer, cardiac and mental health disease.
The new health-care complex will be approximately 970,000 square feet and will be built on a 32-acre section of the 40-acre site in St. Catharines. It will be environmentally friendly and has been designed to achieve Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification. Environmental features include energy efficient lighting, cooling and heating, which will help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The 375-bed replacement facility for the aging St. Catharines General and Ontario Street sites of the NHS will offer acute and critical inpatient services, surgical, emergency and ambulatory services available under one roof for the residents of St. Catharines, Thorold, Niagara-on-the Lake and the area. The facility will feature 80 per cent single patient rooms, the most available in a community hospital in Ontario.
Plenary Health Niagara's team includes Plenary Group, Borealis Infrastructure, PCL Constructors Canada Inc., Bregman + Hamann Architects, Silver Thomas Hanley Architects, and Johnson Controls. Long-term debt financing is provided through the private placement market and arranged by TD Securities Inc., RBC Capital Markets and BMO Capital Markets. The lead long term lenders were Sun Life Financial and The Great-West Life Assurance Company and others that included Industrial Alliance and Bimcor. Société Générale, TD Bank and Bank of Montreal provided construction financing for the project.
Infrastructure Ontario and the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care will work with the Niagara Health System to build the new health-care complex, which will remain publicly owned, publicly controlled and publicly accountable.
The Niagara Health System (NHS) consists of six hospital sites and an ambulatory care centre serving 434,000 residents across the 12 municipalities making up the Regional Municipality of Niagara.
The Niagara Health System’s new health care complex
The state-of-the-art health care complex to be located at First Street and Fourth Avenue in St. Catharines will replace the aging St. Catharines General Site and Ontario Street Site and will provide new regional services never before available in Niagara, including treatments for cancer, heart disease and longer-term mental health disease.
The new facility will include:
- The Walker Family Cancer Centre to provide close-to-home treatment for the more than 1,200 cancer patients who currently travel to Hamilton or Toronto for life-saving radiation treatment;
- A new Regional Longer-Term Mental Health Centre with longer-term inpatient mental health beds, combined with acute inpatient mental health beds and ambulatory care services for Niagara residents;
- A new Regional Cardiac Catheterization Centre to provide diagnostic investigation services, reducing hospitalizations for heart disease, lowering wait times and improving access to treatment;
- 80 per cent single patient rooms, the most available in a community hospital in Ontario
- Environmentally friendly design features resulting in LEED® certification as part of the government’s commitment to reduce energy use and greenhouse gas emissions;
- CBRN (chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear) containment capability to deal with infectious outbreaks and disasters;
- 80 per cent paperless system;
- More windows to enhance natural light in patients’ rooms and public and staff areas;
- State-of-the-art operating suites designed to take advantage of sophisticated image-guided and laparoscopic surgery; and
- A patient focused site design with healing gardens, ponds and walking paths.
The community-based hospital of up to 375 beds will offer acute and critical inpatient services, surgical, emergency and ambulatory services available under one roof for the residents of St. Catharines, Thorold, Niagara-on-the Lake and the area.
The Niagara Health System project will be delivered using an alternative financing and procurement model. Plenary Health Niagara will receive annual payments from Niagara Health System over a 30 year period. Payments cover construction, building maintenance, lifecycle repair and renewal and project financing. Lifecycle refers to ensuring that heating and cooling systems, windows, floors and roofing structures, for example, are kept in excellent working condition over the 30 year period. The payments are like a fixed-rate mortgage with maintenance and repair expenses included and will total approximately $1.42 billion after 30 years. In today’s dollars this is equivalent to approximately $759 million.
When the project is completed, Niagara will be home to one of the most up-to-date health care facilities in the province, with infrastructure to care for and treat the unique health needs of the Niagara region; ensuring care is provided to Niagarans in Niagara.
Important Construction Dates:
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Visit www.infrastructureontario.ca or here for more information.
Energy and Infrastructure
Caroline Bourque Wiley
Niagara Health System
Consultant, Public Affairs
905-378-4647, ext. 43113