Prov­ince spend­ing $7.3 mil­lion to re­place ag­ing power plant

Windsor Star - - CITY+REGION - DAVID GOUGH

The Chatham-Kent Health Alliance’s cam­pus in Wal­lace­burg will re­ceive $7.3 mil­lion from the prov­ince to help re­place its ag­ing power plant. Lori Mar­shall, pres­i­dent and CEO of the Chatham-Kent Health Alliance, said fund­ing to sup­port the con­struc­tion of a new $8-mil­lion power plant is the first step in re­new­ing the fa­cil­i­ties at the Wal­lace­burg site. The bal­ance of the project’s ex­pense will be funded by the Health Alliance.

Once com­pleted, the new fa­cil­ity will re­place ag­ing in­fras­truc­ture with new boil­ers, gen­er­a­tors and elec­tri­cal dis­tri­bu­tion equip­ment to meet the fu­ture needs of the com­mu­nity. Pre­vi­ous ad­min­is­tra­tors had ar­gued that the Wal­lace­burg site’s ag­ing build­ing was not worth a ma­jor ex­pen­di­ture. Mar­shall said the phi­los­o­phy of the cur­rent ad­min­is­tra­tion is that health care close to home is a good thing.

“We be­lieve that both of our hos­pi­tals are as­sets to the or­ga­ni­za­tion,” she said. “They have dif­fer­ent roles, so you won’t see a du­pli­ca­tion of ser­vices at both sites.” The Health Alliance plans to re­new both hos­pi­tal sites over the next 15 to 20 years. Mar­shall said there will be fur­ther re­de­vel­op­ment of the Wal­lace­burg cam­pus in the fu­ture. “We think that ma­jor com­po­nents of this build­ing con­tinue to of­fer an in­fras­truc­ture that we can use and then we will look to new build as well and add on to it and al­low us to go on into the fu­ture,” she said. In­fight­ing among the for­mer Health Alliance ad­min­is­tra­tion and two for­mer boards had led the prov­ince to bring in a hos­pi­tal su­per­vi­sor who dis­man­tled the three boards and cre­ated a sin­gle board.

The ex­pan­sion is part of the prov­ince’s plan to up­date hos­pi­tal in­fras­truc­ture in Chatham-Kent and fol­lows the Min­istry’s 2017 ap­proval for $1.5 mil­lion under the Hos­pi­tal En­ergy Ef­fi­ciency Pro­gram (HEEP) to re­place old heat­ing and cool­ing dis­tri­bu­tion equip­ment at the Wal­lace­burg site. The hos­pi­tal will now en­gage the ar­chi­tec­tural de­sign team and ten­der the project later in 2018. Con­struc­tion is ex­pected the be com­plete in 2019.

The old power plant will be de­mol­ished once the new power plant is op­er­a­tional.

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