Terrace is getting a new Mills Memorial Hospital, provincial finance minister Mike de Jong announced while in the community Tuesday.
And some form of construction could start as early as next year, said de Jong.
“I can confirm that there is money for a new hospital within the fiscal plan,” he said of a list of major public sector expenditures developed by the provincial government.
Generally speaking, completion of a business plan could take about 18 months and then be followed up by the complex job of lining up construction contracts and site preparation before the actual work begins.
It’s not uncommon for large public sector projects to take up to seven years from approval to completion.
While previous estimates have placed the cost of a replacement of the current facility, now nearly 60 years old, in the $430 million range, de Jong said a final figure will await the completion of a business development plan.
“I would hesitate to provide a figure,” he said, adding cost, size of facility and services to be provided within a new Mills will be determined by the business plan.
The size of the development is such that it will be the single largest provincial government construction project in the history of the Northwest.
The Northwest Transmission Line did cost more than what is contemplated for a new Mills but that was built by BC Hydro, a provincial crown corporation and not directly by the Province.
The new facility will be located on the same large piece of property now containing the current Mills Memorial.
The announcement of a new Mills was made by de Jong at a Terrace and District Chamber of Commerce luncheon.
He said the ability of the Province to build a new Mills comes through its fiscal and budget planning, which allows for large-ticket expenditures while retaining its Triple A credit rating.