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Health Unit will go ahead with new $13 million building

The Hastings and Prince Edward Counties Board of Health  unanimously approved a plan Wednesday night to construct a new building at its North Park Street, Belleville site.

Construction on the $13 million building is to begin this fall and completed by the fall of 2014. The two-storey project has approximately 34,000 square feet to house clinics and public meeting rooms and provide office space for more than 100 public health staff.  The board approved a budget of $13,046,000 for the project.  A statment Wednesday night, stated the cost will be absorbed within the health unit’s current budget and will not require an increase to the municipal levy.

“I’m delighted by this decision,” said board chair Beth Campbell.  “It’s the best option for providing service to our community in the long run.”

In March 2012, the board approved a plan to renovate and extend the existing health unit building at a cost of $9.8 million. Subsequent analysis by design architect Kasian Inc., identified problems that increased the estimated cost of the proposed renovation/expansion to $11.7 million. As a result, the architects and project consultants recommended a new building.

The new building is to have clinics and public space on the main floor. Staff offices will be predominantly on the second floor. The new site plan will have more green space, better parking options and deeper set-backs from neighbours. The Health Unit will be able to stay in its current office during construction to avoid disruption of services. The board was told the new building is expected to be serviceable for up to 40 years, compared to 20 years for the proposed renovation.

“This new plan has many advantages,” added Jim McBride, board vice-chair and chair of the accommodation committee.  “We get a much superior product with a much longer shelf life.  The cost difference is only about 10 per cent and should be largely offset by other savings.”

Filed Under: Local News

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