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 long-standing 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 in-patient 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.