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Hospital renovations back on track
Ontario-based Quinan Construction Limited takes over as general contractor

Laura Busch
Northern News Services
Published Monday, February 24, 2014

The Government of Nunavut has found a new contractor to take over renovations of the old Baffin Regional Hospital section of Iqaluit's general hospital. Construction is set to resume in March.

"Getting this project back on track means we are able to better address demand for medical services in this facility," Community and Government Services Minister Tom Sammurtok stated in a press release announcing the new contract. "We experienced some initial setbacks, but are pleased to see the renovations resume."

Ontario-based Quinan Construction Limited has been tapped to take over as general contractor.

Those "initial setbacks" came when the original general contractor, the now-insolvent Downland Construction Ltd., went into receivership in May 2013.

General contract work has been in limbo since then, although Arctic Environmental Services Inc. was on site through the summer completing their abatement contract to remove all hazardous materials - primarily asbestos - from the site.

"If the default wouldn't have happened in April, there would have been more subcontractor activity," said Paul Mulak, director of the program management office within the Department of Community and Government Services.

He estimated that Dowland defaulting set the project back by at least six months.

At present, the main floor of the old hospital has essentially been gutted, excepting the cafeteria which will be the "very last piece of this renovation puzzle that falls into place," said Mulak.

The second floor of the old hospital has been partially gutted and asbestos-laden ceiling tiles have been removed. All work on site has been suspended since the abatement contractor finished up on site around the time of the last sea lift out last summer.

The GN is not expecting to pay extra as a result of the delays, and the capital budget for the project remains at $35 million.

"We are going to be able to complete the project within that budget," said Mulak.

Although there may have been added costs, those are expected to be covered by the approximately $10 million the GN is expecting from Dowland defaulting on its

performance bond.

"Once the project is complete, we will be able to offer 25 additional clinical spaces for patient care and community wellness services," Health Minister Monica Ell stated. "The integration of this new space give patients a full range of services in one convenient location."

Once the renovation is complete, the old hospital section will house the

outpatient clinic, specialty clinics, such as the dental clinic, and a pharmacy.

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