Break­ing ground

Af­ter many years, mayor pleased to see progress on Spring­dale hospi­tal

The Central Voice - - Front Page - BY ADAM RANDELL [email protected]­cen­tralvoice.ca

Now that the land has been stripped away, and con­struc­tion of Spring­dale’s new health cen­tre is un­der­way, Mayor David Edi­son is fi­nally start­ing to see some progress on a long­stand­ing town is­sue.

The 3,000-square me­tre fa­cil­ity is ex­pected to take 18-20 months to com­plete, and ac­cord­ing to Edi­son, op­er­a­tions have moved along at a swift pace since the $12.6 mil­lion De­part­ment of Health and Com­mu­nity Ser­vices project was an­nounced.

“I’m see­ing daily progress on most an­gles there, so it’s very im­pres­sive to see how things have gone so far,” said Edi­son. “They are well into con­struc­tion and mov­ing along ex­tremely well.”

But talk­ing about a new health care fa­cil­ity wasn’t al­ways such a pos­i­tive ex­pe­ri­ence for Edi­son.

Dur­ing his 13-year run with coun­cil, he said the re­place­ment of the ag­ing health care fa­cil­ity – built in 1952 – had been an­nual pri­or­ity item for the town but it could never get pro­vin­cial govern­ment to com­mit to the project.

“It was frus­trat­ing, we had six to eight years where we were re­ally push­ing hard for it,” he said. Fi­nally, af­ter years of ad­vo­cat­ing, the De­part­ment of Health and Com­mu­nity Ser­vices green-lit the project on July 11, and awarded a $12.6 mil­lion con­struc­tion con­tract to JMJ Hold­ings.

“We wanted some­thing to bet­ter serve the area, not just Spring­dale, that’s why it’s so im­por­tant,” said Edi­son. “So it was cer­tainly a wel­come site to see ground broke for the build.”

Ac­cord­ing to the De­part­ment of Health and Com­mu­nity Ser­vices, all ser­vices cur­rently of­fered will con­tinue to be avail­able at the new cen­tre. It will also in­clude space for physi­cians’ clin­ics, di­ag­nos­tic and lab­o­ra­tory ser­vices, re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion, an emer­gency de­part­ment and a nine-bed in­pa­tient area.

Which is wel­comed news for the mayor.

“While it is won­der­ful to get a new hospi­tal, I was very wor­ried that it would re­sult in a cut­back of ser­vices, get the money for the hospi­tal by tak­ing away ser­vices, but we have been told by govern­ment that it would main­tain the same ser­vices, just now it will be in a more mod­ern, up to date fa­cil­ity to serve the area,” Edi­son said.

CON­TRIB­UTED PHOTO

Ground has been bro­ken for Spring­dale’s new health care fa­cil­ity, and Mayor David Edi­son says he is see­ing daily progress with the build.

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