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New St. Joes hospital nearly half finished

Cranes slated to come down from west Mountain site this summer

By Mark Newman, News Staff

The skyline at Fennell and West 5th will look different this fall after five cranes disappear from the site of the new St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton’s West 5th  campus.

Karen Langstaff, chief of planning at St. Joes, said most of the heavy lifting for the $438 million mental health hospital at the campus is now complete and the cranes will come down over the summer.

“Right now we’re about 40 percent complete,” said Langstaff, who noted the final round of concrete for the three storey (plus a fourth floor utilities penthouse on the west side), 850,000 square-foot facility is slated to be poured in May. “We are absolutely on schedule.”

About 500 construction workers are on the site each day.

Langstaff said steel studs are now going up on the west side of the building that will house in-patient units and plumbing and dry walling work is also underway.

In the works for more than a decade, the new hospital is being built on 55 acres fronting along Fennell and stretching west from West 5th.

It will have 305 beds, about 100 more than in the current hospital, and a variety of out-patient clinics that will serve tens of thousands of people each year.

Unlike the past where patients at the old Hamilton Psychiatric Hospital were housed up to four in a room, the new hospital will feature big and bright single patient rooms with en-suite washrooms.

The new state-of-the-art mental health hospital will also include diagnostic and other medical services for the community and general psychiatry and schizophrenia out-patient programs will be moved to the West 5th campus from St. Joe’s downtown location when the new facility opens by February 2014.

Once the new hospital is open, Langstaff said work on phase two of the project will begin.

That will include the demolition of the current West 5th campus building along with landscaping and parking lot work.

The new hospital is being built, financed and maintained through a 30-year, $1.196 billion deal between St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton, Infrastructure Ontario and the Plenary Health Group.

An open house to update the public on the project is being planned for June at the existing West 5th campus.

The public can also watch the new hospital go up in real time via a webcam that has been installed across the street at Mohawk College.

You can access the webcam via www.st.joes.ca/west5.

Work at Juravinski hospital nearly done

Meanwhile Work on phase 1-b of the $180 million redevelopment of the former Henderson General Hospital on Concession Street is essentially complete and staff and equipment have begun to move into the new four storey building on the north side of the hospital which includes medical, laboratory and office space along with a diagnostic unit, an ambulatory care clinic and new admitting area.

“We are moving throughout the month of March,” said Cathy Lovett, who began working as site lead on the redevelopment project when it was still in the planning stages 11 years ago.

Lovett noted $1 million worth of new hospital furniture has already been moved to the new space with core lab and some clinic staff slated to be in place by March 13.

The doctors’ offices and other medical staff will be in new quarters by March 19.

Once all the moving is done work will begin on a walkway to connect the hospital with the Juravinski Cancer Centre next door and a gift shop and pharmacy are expected in place in the new lobby by the fall.

“This has been a long haul,” said Lovett, who noted the contractor has until July 6 to finish all work on the hospital site.

Lovett said the new space should make it easier for visitors and staff to find their way around the hospital.

Phase 1-b accounts for about 25 percent of the hospital redevelopment cost, Lovett said.

 

 

 

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