A conceptual view of the proposed new intensive care unit at the Cranbrook Regional Hospital from 24th Avenue North.

A conceptual view of the proposed new intensive care unit at the Cranbrook Regional Hospital from 24th Avenue North.

Hospital project taking shape

Footings complete, work well underway on base walls for new ICU

Interior Health is providing a progress report on its multimillion dollar expansion at East Kootenay Regional Hospital in Cranbrook.

Work on the new intensive care unit (ICU) and an electrical upgrade for the entire hospital began in May, and is proceeding on schedule, Interior Health said in a statement released Friday, August 1.

“The installation of the building substructure is well underway and proceeding on schedule,” reads the statement. “All footings for the new structure are now complete and the base walls are approximately 30 per cent complete.

“The majority of underground drainage and sewer connections are also now in place. The basement floor is scheduled to be completed in August, and the ground floor and roof structures will be done in the fall.”

The $20 million project began in May and will continue until summer 2016.

The new ICU 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.

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 providing additional privacy. The enhanced care environment for patients will feature integrated family spaces and maximized natural light.

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

Interior Health said that next month, contractors Lark Projects Ltd will begin to install temporary generators and utility feeds for the electrical upgrades.

New permanent generators will arrive in December.

Work will continue on site from approximately 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. throughout the summer.

Drivers in the area can expect interruptions to normal traffic patterns throughout construction, but Interior Health said the contractor is working to minimize the interruptions.

The new ICU and electrical upgrade is being funded jointly by the B.C. government ($11.93 million), the Kootenay East Regional Hospital District ($7.95 million), and the East Kootenay Foundation for Health ($120,000).