Province selects company to begin construction on new acute care tower at Victoria Hospital this spring

A design drawing of the proposed acute care tower at Victoria Hospital. -- Submitted photo.

Edmonton-based PCL Construction has been selected to build the new acute care tower at Victoria Hospital, with construction slated to begin this spring.

The provincial government made the announcement on Monday. The cost is estimated at around $898 million. The province estimates it will be completed by 2028.

“I am proud that our government is getting this project done,” SaskBuilds and Procurement Minister and MLA for Prince Albert Carleton Joe Hargrave said in a press release.

“This hospital will bring expanded and state of the art service to Prince Albert and the North and will benefit all of Saskatchewan upon completion,” he added.

“This new hospital will be in the heart of the community I represent and it brings me pride to know that our government is making the investments needed for Prince Albert and the North to grow,” Prince Albert Northcote MLA Alana Ross added.

Boreal Healthcare Foundation CEO Cody Barnett welcomed news that building would start in the spring. Barnett said the current building is so crowded that on average roughly 24,000 patients a year have to bypass the Victoria Hospital for facilities in Saskatoon, Regina, or even Alberta.

The new facility will increase the number of beds by 40 per cent, something Barnett said should reduce patient transfers by half.

“To me, that’s critical,” he said. “It’s really important to have your support networks around and close, so for us, it’s all about the healthcare you need close to home. The community needs it and we deserve it.”

The provincial government is responsible for all capital construction costs, with Boreal Healthcare Foundation paying for furniture and equipment. Barnett said they’re still in the planning stages for the fundraising campaign, so they don’t have a lot of details.

“All I can say right now is it will be the largest campaign in northern Saskatchewan’s history,” he said.

Barnett added that Prince Albert residents started pushing for an expansion to Victoria Hospital 20 years ago, so having a start date is exciting.

“It’s been a longtime coming—a lot of planning,” he said. “It’s something that’s so needed so needed, not just for Prince Albert, but for all of northern Saskatchewan.”

Mayor Greg Dionne also welcomed news of the new acute care tower, which will be built north of the current building in an area currently used for staff parking.

“It’s such a relief now for the citizens of PA and our council to know that it’s finally going. It’s been years in the process … and now you’re going to be able to go by and see it. We’re very excited.”

The new tower will feature a heliport on the roof, an expanded emergency department, larger operating rooms, pediatrics, maternity, NICU, new medical imaging, and a First Nations and Métis Cultural space, among other services.

After construction, it will increase the number of beds from 173 to 242.

“The Victoria Hospital project is a significant investment in Prince Albert and surrounding area and will go a long way to accommodate the growing needs of the northern communities it serves,” Health Minister Everett Hindley said in a press release. “I want to personally express my sincere gratitude to Boreal Healthcare Foundation for their continued efforts and support to help make this project a reality.”