Province gives $155-M boost to Saskatchewan Hospital build

By Angela Brown
March 26, 2017 - 12:00pm

The Province has stuck to their schedule with the new Saskatchewan Hospital North Battleford build and 40 per cent of the project has been completed.

The construction for the new psychiatric hospital and attached, separate unit serving as a secure 96-bed psychiatric correctional facility for offenders with mental health needs, is on target for a June 2018 completion date as planned.

In this week's budget, the Province announced it has slated $155 million for this year's funding for the new Saskatchewan Hospital North Battleford.

Reagan Seidler, director of strategy and engagement with SaskBuilds,  said every part of the project is on time and on budget.

"That's the best news I can give you," Seidler said, "and it's very good news."

The project is a Public-Private Partnership (P3) initiative, meaning the Province and Prairie North Health Region are partnering to fund the facility, while the development team is responsible for the build itself as the private partner in the deal. 

There is currently a fundraising drive on through Prairie North Health Region's "New Beginnings" campaign to raise $8 million for equipment and furnishings for the building.

While the actual construction of the project is estimated at about $222 million, Seidler said the Province has committed a total of $407 million for the full project, covering much of the design, construction and long-term maintenance costs. 

 The Province will be responsible for paying the firm involved in building the facility over the next 33 year period.

"We do that since if there is any reason why we are not happy, we don't pay them until the very end," Seidler said, adding this way the Province can ensure the company follows through and fixes anything that needs to be repaired in the future. 

"That is one of the ways that taxpayers are protected with the P3," he added. "Thus far, they have been paid about nine per cent of what they are owed."

Seidler confirmed the public needn't be concerned the Province has invested $155 million in this year's budget and not more, since it will be meeting its $407-million committment for the project regardless of circumstances.

The new psychiatric hospital for men and women will replace the former SHNB that opened in 1914.


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