Each day for the rest of the year, 2day FM will be looking back on some of the biggest local stories of the year, as voted by our listeners. This is number 8:
After rumours had been floating around for months, Health Minister Sarah Hoffman finally confirmed in November that construction of the Grande Prairie Regional Hospital is both over budget and behind schedule. The building originally had a budget of $647.5 million dollars, which has since gone up by $90 million, and the completion date has been pushed back from April 2017 to sometime in 2019.
Hoffman puts the blame on major contract tenders originally tendered in 2014 that came in significantly higher than originally budgeted. In order to cut costs, certain parts of the hospital are being put on hold, like two of the 10 operating rooms, and mental health services will be kept at the QEII Hospital. Renovations to that facility have also been suspended until the new one is finished.
New tenders with reduced interior work were sent out this winter, and if they come back on budget, construction should start in early 2016. The exterior shell is about 70 per cent complete.