Designs for new 48-bed long-term care facilities in Hay River and Inuvik are on hold, the NWT’s health minister says.
“Construction costs have gone up and we have identified a shortfall of $31.5 million for the long-term care facilities,” minister Julie Green told the legislature last week.
“We need to go over what it will cost to build … We need to recalibrate where we’re at with costs and come back with an adjustment to our plan.”
According to Green, original estimate for the cost of building the two facilities comes from 2015. The plan, she said, must now be “refreshed.”
Both communities were slated to receive the facilities by 2023.
Hay River’s long-term care facility is planned to be built on the site where the old HH Williams Hospital currently stands. The hospital is no longer used for medical treatment (the town has a newer health centre) and must be demolished before a new long-term facility can be built.
Before that can happen, administrative staff working in the old hospital need to move to a new building. The Department of Health and Social Services expects demolition and staffing relocation will happen in spring 2021.
Meanwhile, work is being completed on Hay River’s existing long-term care facility, Woodland Manor, to extend the heating system’s longevity.
The department is hopeful Woodland Manor, which has 25 long-term care beds, will continue to be a long-term care facility even after the new facility has opened.
Fish plant also delayed due to cost
Hay River’s new fish plant has also been delayed by higher-than-expected construction costs. Bids last fall came in at more than $2 million over the project’s total budget.
Construction was initially supposed to wrap up in late 2020. Instead, the territorial government recently released a tender for a smaller fish processing plant.
The CBC reported the new plant will be 32 percent smaller than the original design.