Builder Tom Jones Jr., Coun. Iain Angus and hospital president and CEO Andree Robichaud on Wednesday break ground for a new 75,000 square foot health services centre being built on Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre property.
THUNDER BAY -- The region's hospital is rapidly running out of space and is about to get at least 75,000 square feet larger.
On Wednesday Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre president and CEO Andree Robichaud held court at the outer edge of the facility’s Oliver Road boundary, announcing a new health services centre that will house a number of key programs, including cardiac out-patient services.
Hospital officials will also decide in the next three weeks or so if the building, designed by Form Architecture, will house the much-anticipated cyclotron.
Robichaud said the time is right to build the facility, expected to cost between $15 million and $20 million.
“It really demonstrates that we’re making progress on our journey to becoming an academic health science centre, because some of this expansion is due to the work we do with the Northern Ontario School of Medicine and with Lakehead University,”
Robichaud said after a ceremonial groundbreaking that included acting mayor Iain Angus and Tom Jones Jr., whose construction company is slated to build the facility.
Robichaud said the delivery of more outpatient services is a key factor in the decision to add a new building to the hospital complex.
By keeping people healthier and out of the hospital, it frees up beds for other patients, she said.
“We can use our crucial space inside our hospital for the inpatient services,” she said. One example is cardiac services. When you come to see your cardiologist, you’d come in here.”
She’s hoping the doors are open as soon as next Christmas, adding a medical clinic and pharmacy have committed to move in and lease a portion of the space.
Chief architect Cory Stechyshyn said the design will draw on the existing hospital’s look and be built with the environment in mind.
“We’ve tried our best to give it its own unique ability, but still have some allusion to the existing Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre so they can create sort of a cohesive health-care campus,” he said.
The construction, scheduled to start in the next few weeks, will maximize southern exposure to allow for winter solar heat gain and increase the amount of natural daylight all year round.
Click here to submit a letter to the editor.