This winter’s mild temperatures have been perfect for construction, and the effects have been felt at the built site for the new Saskatchewan Hospital in the Battlefords.
Currently, crews at the construction site of the new hospital are working on excavation, form work, pouring concrete and back filling, with some substantial and noticeable work coming up, according to Gordon Wyant, Minister Responsible for SaskBuilds.
Wyant said the warm temperatures put the contractors in a good position to get ahead, because if construction is delayed and deadlines are missed it won’t be the province footing the bill.
“One of the conditions of this particular project is that it be built on time and on budget, and if it’s not opened by the spring of 2018, there are some substantial penalties. So this kind of weather does give some opportunity to the contractor to get ahead of schedule and make sure they’re compliant with the time line of when the building has to be delivered,” he explained.
One of the criticisms the provincial NDP has brought up in regards to the hospital, is it’s being built and maintained using a P3, or public private partnership, which means private companies are responsible for constructing and maintaining the hospital.
Part of the NDP’s criticism said this could mean companies from out of province or even out of country would see the benefit of the hospital’s construction, while local companies were left in the dust. However, Wyant said the proponent in charge of selecting companies, Access Prairie Partnership, currently has 11 Saskatchewan businesses on site including Clifton Associates geotechnical services, and G&C Asphalt from North Battleford.
The 284-bed mental health and integrated correctional facility is scheduled to open in the spring of 2018. The new facility will have 32 more beds than the old Saskatchewan Hospital, with 188 of them being in the hospital section while the other 96 will be secure beds for male and female offenders living with mental health issues.