Kamloops This Week
The timeline has been extended and the cost has increased substantially, but Interior Health is determined to see a patient-care tower rise at Royal Inland Hospital.
However, the projected cost is now an estimated $500 million — it was pegged at $400 million by Health Minister Terry Lake in February — and the Thompson Regional Hospital District (TRHD) has been asked to contribute another $172 million.
If it agrees to do so, it means an increase in property taxes by $20 for an average residential property in the regional district, including the City of Kamloops.
Five years ago, the TRHD board committed $100 million for the recently completed clinical services building and the tower. That meant the tax paid by the average assessed residence doubled to $127.
A report by TRHD administration will be discussed at the board meeting at RIH. The report recommends agreeing to the extra contribution and boosting the tax rate.
Originally, the second tower was referred to as a surgical tower, but the concept has changed to one that provides several patient services, including 30 beds for each of a medical/surgery inpatient unit and two mental-health focused units.
It would also include 13 operating rooms, a neonatal intensive-care unit, a labour and delivery room, offices and additional clinical space.
The concept being considered is a nine-storey building built over a two-storey below-grade parkade, with a gross floor area of about 27,000 square metres.
The first level would have central registration, office space for the RIH Foundation and retail space.
Along with the new tower would come renovation of the main RIH building, including an extensive upgrade and expansion of the emergency department.
A helipad might also be added to the roof of the new tower.
Earlier this year, Lake said he had hoped construction would begin next year and be completed by 2020. The letter from IHA to the TRHD board now says the hope is to complete the construction by 2024.