Renovation plans for the South Shore Regional Hospital are moving forward.
Lunenburg West MLA Mark Furey was on hand to announce that EXP Architects have been awarded the $4.77 million contract to renovate the hospital’s aging facilities.
The announcement was made on Jan. 18 in the hospital’s cafeteria and outlined that the project will include the renovation and expansion of the emergency, endoscopy and day surgery units.
Furey also shared that the hospital will be adding a 12-seat dialysis unit.
“The time has come to put shovels in the ground and move forward on the work that so many have been a part of,” Furey said to the gathered crowd.
He added that EXP Architects is already working on the designs; the final plans are expected by the end of this year.
When speaking to reporters, Furey shared his hopes that some construction work would begin by the end of 2019.
He said that the addition of a dialysis unit was important piece to the hospital’s expansion.
“That’s a life sustaining service and we want to be able to provide it here in our community,” said Furey, adding that patients seeking dialysis treatment currently have to go elsewhere.
Greg McNally, the hospital’s emergency department medical director, said the additions have been a long time coming.
“We’ve been waiting for these (announcements) for a long time. We’re just happy to see this rolling forward,” he said. “The whole project is going to improve care for people along the South Shore.”
And the additions will not go amiss; McNally said over half of the hospital’s patients are 65 or older and in need of extensive services.
He added that the aging population along the South Shore has translated to more particular medical needs.
When asked about further timelines, a spokesperson for the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal said she province would continue to update the public as the design phase progressed.
“The design phase is an important aspect of the project. As we work through the design process, we will have better cost estimates for this project, as well as timelines,” wrote media relations advisor Marla MacInnis.
The renovations were previously announced by Premier Stephen McNeil in April of 2017.
“Investing in infrastructure will strengthen important public services along the South Shore,” McNeil said at the time.
The hospital originally opened in 1988.