Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) and one of the contractors involved in the second phase of the St. Mary’s Hospital expansion are going to mediation after VCH held back a portion of payment due to work being delayed.
“Because we did experience extra costs because of the delay, we did hold back a portion,” VCH senior media relations officer Anna Marie D’Angelo said Tuesday, declining to name the contractor or provide other details until after the mediation process concludes.
The second phase of the hospital expansion, completed last year, included construction of the 5,400-square-metre tower, emergency department and lobby.
The third and final phase of the project — renovating the existing hospital building — was put on hold last November so VCH could revisit the original plan developed in 2007 and make adjustments to reflect changing community health-care needs.
VCH has consulted with stakeholders and put together recommendations for the third phase, but the recommendations still have to be approved and funding implications have to be determined, D’Angelo said.
The budget for the final phase is currently unchanged, at $5.2 million.
“The funding is in place. It’s a go,” she said.
Funding for the $44.25-million expansion project was provided by the Ministry of Health, the Sunshine Coast Regional Hospital District, the St. Mary’s Hospital Foundation and the St. Mary’s Hospital/Health Care Auxiliary.
Built on four and a half hectares donated by the Sechelt Indian Band (SIB) in 1962, the hospital was last expanded in 1977 and renovated in 1989.
Earlier this year, VCH consulted the public on a possible name change for the hospital, receiving input from 550 people. D’Angelo said a submission has come out of that process, but it still needs to be reviewed by the VCH executive team and board of directors.
“Then at that point it has to go the Ministry of Health,” she said. “The Ministry of Health is the one that actually makes the decision.”
No timeline for that decision was available, she said.
VCH undertook the consultation after SIB Coun. Garry Feschuk, who was chief at the time, said the Band was in negotiations with VCH to change the hospital’s name in recognition of the Band’s donation of the land, and because St. Mary’s was also the name of a residential school in Mission that some Band members had attended.
© Coast Reporter