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Rainy River hospital goes to tender

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The tender package went out Monday for a new health centre in Rainy River, with bids to be opened April 8.

Riverside Health Care Facilities Inc. received written approval from the Ministry of Health for its tender package on Friday, which maxed the project at $6.24 million.

The ministry will provide a maximum $5.2 million grant—or up to 83 percent of the project.

“This is consistent with what [the ministry] said,” Riverside CEO Paul Brown said Monday. “If the tenders come in within the maximum amount allotted by the ministry, then we’ll have a comprehensive health centre in Rainy River.”

Brown didn’t want to speculate on what would happen if the tenders didn’t come within the maximum amount.

Now it’s up to the community and Riverside to come up with the remaining $1 million. The community already has raised $800,000.

“It means that we still have to do some fundraising,” Brown said Monday, noting they had to come up with about $300,000 more. “[But] we know that there is money out there.”

The fundraising won’t start again, though, until after the tenders come in.

Eight general contractors have been pre-approved to bid on the project, with Brown adding it was open to subcontractors:

•Bird Construction of Winnipeg, Man.;

•Gateway Contractors of Thunder Bay, Ont.;

•Kraft Construction Co. of Winnipeg;

•Michael Monteith Enterprises of Orillia, Ont;

•PCL Constructors Canada of Winnipeg, Man.;

•Penn-Co. Construction Canada of Blumenort, Man.;

•Regent Construction Co. of Winnipeg; and

•Whitehale Construction of Thunder Bay.

“We have to send the bids—the lowest three—to the Ministry of Health,“ Brown explained, stressing they cannot award the tenders without ministry approval.

Once it is awarded, the project is expected to take a year to complete.

The new facility will include 21 long-term care beds, three acute care beds, and a short stay emergency. It will be linked to the existing doctor and dentist offices, and also will include space for the Northwestern Health Unit and Family and Children’s Services.

To be built just behind the existing hospital, the old structure will be torn down once the new one is completed. That area will be made into a parking lot, Brown added.

The tenders will be opened April 8 after the 2 p.m. deadline at the Rainy River Legion.

“This time, I think we’re past the obstacles,” Mayor Gordon Armstrong said.

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