Northern Health and Partnerships British Columbia where in Burns Lake on Dec. 4, 2012 and held a public community meeting to discuss where the new hospital project was in its lifecycle.
The $55 million Burns Lake hospital project has moved into the procurement stage of construction. Eleven construction and design teams had submitted proposals to build the new hospital according to guidelines developed by Northern Health in public consultation with residents and officials in the Lakes District, and three teams have been short listed.
Three teams have been short listed, Bird DB Construction, PCL Constructors Westcoast and Stuart Olson Dominion. Each construction company is partnered with their own design firm. Each team will bring a unique ‘design-build’ project to the table and Northern Health will select the winning bid according to the best price. Each project proposal must meet minimum design guidelines.
The replacement hospital will house up to 16 beds, provide acute care and emergency services, diagnostic imaging, a laboratory and pharmacy.
“This should be very good for your community, it should be very beneficial,” said Rick Steele, Assistant Vice President with Partnership BC, regarding the anticipated influx of construction activity. “There’ll be lots of business opportunities.”
The Village of Burns Lake will be taking contact information for local contractors that want to be involved in the bid process.
A member of the public in attendance at the meeting raised concern that the talk of three individual and distinct design plans could mean that the work done by local planning groups might be left on the drawing room floor.
Steele explained that the results of that community input formed part of the design guidelines that Northern Health presented to interested builders.
“We took the existing work and floor plans and said that these are the minimum requirements,” said Steele. “We listed all the rooms, room uses and area [square footage] that were on the plans and they formed the base specifications.”
“What we’re looking for them [the designers] to do is to make the plans more efficient,” Steele said. “Before any work starts, we’ll still have a full user consultation process.”
Paul Rudecki, Northern Health Project Manager, elaborated on how the design process will work. Each bid must meet the detailed requirements and design guidelines already described by Northern Health in their initial call for proposals.
“Each of the three proposals must meet the design guidelines at a minimum,” Rudecki said. “And any changes will represent an improvement on current designs, not a subtraction.”
“Whatever you see as a finished product will be better than what [designs] we already have in hand,” he said.
“The majority of the decisions to be made are technical in nature,” he said. “Ninety per cent is not changeable.”
Regional District of Bulkely Nechako financial administrator Hans Berndorff asked how local contractors could get connected with the potential builders. Mayor Luke Strimbold recommended that contractors contact the village office to get put on a list and that the village would eventually have a link online to register in a contractor database.
There’s no guarantee that local contractors will get the work, said Steele. “We can’t put restrictions on contracts, but we can assure you that the three proponents have expressed their interest [in hiring local contractors].”
“Local contractors and suppliers will have an advantage,” said Rudecki after the presentation. “They will be more economical.”
“Why would I buy concrete from Vancouver if I could buy it here?” Rudecki asked.
But he cautioned that trade and material suppliers must be equal to the contract requirements and specifications.
Construction is expected to begin late in the spring of 2013 and should be completed in 2015.