An artist’s conception of the proposed intensive Care Unit at the East Kootenay Regional Hospital.

An artist’s conception of the proposed intensive Care Unit at the East Kootenay Regional Hospital.

Contractor named for new hospital ICU project

Lark Projects of Surrey will take on the $20 million addition to East Kootenay Regional Hospital

A Surrey-based construction company has been awarded the contract for construction of the new Intensive Care Unit at Cranbrook’s hospital.

Lark Projects, part of the Lark Group, has more than 40 years of experience with industrial, commercial, hospitality and health care projects, including the Royal Jubilee Hospital Patient Care Centre in Victoria.

The $20 million project will add an 8,500 square foot building to East Kootenay Regional Hospital with six patient rooms. It will be located on the northeast corner of the hospital, beside where the mobile MRI unit is parked.

The addition will replace the ageing, cramped four-bed Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at the hospital. The size and design of the new ICU will provide better flow through the unit for physicians and staff and provide additional privacy. The enhanced care environment for patients will feature integrated family spaces and maximized natural light.

Medical staff at the hospital were heavily involved in the design process, even conducting an exercise with styrofoam cutouts of ICU machines to test the spacing.

The project includes a significant electrical upgrade to the entire hospital. The electrical infrastructure will be located in the basement of the new addition.

“This is an exciting announcement for the people of the East Kootenay because it paves the way for the actual construction phase of this important project for the entire region,” said Kootenay East MLA Bill Bennett. “These upgrades will benefit patients as well as the physicians and staff who provide care at our regional hospital.”

“I know the excitement on a project builds as we move through each step. We’re now getting very close to having workers on site and that’s great news for our hospital and the patients it serves,” said Interior Health board chair Norman Embree.

Groundbreaking will take place later in the spring, with construction completion anticipated for mid-2016.

The B.C. government is funding approximately $12 million of the project and the Kootenay East Regional Hospital District is contributing $8 million. The East Kootenay Foundation for Health is contributing $120,000.

“Our involvement in this project reflects a commitment from our communities to the services East Kootenay Regional Hospital provides to patients across our region. On behalf of our donors, the Foundation is happy to play a role in these major improvements,” said Donna Grainger, executive director for the foundation.