It’s now costing just over $1 million to make renovations inside the Babine Elementary-Secondary School to accommodate the Granisle Health Centre.
An original budget of $765,000 had to be increased when six bids earlier this year were all over that amount, says Andrea Palmer from the Northern Health Authority.
“Northern Health does have funds for this and we were able to secure the additional amount,” she said.
The lowest of the six bidders was ANR Construction of Kelowna and Northern Health then negotiated with that company to arrive at a cost now tagged at $1.15 million.
Work began the middle of last month with a finishing date projected of next February.
Palmer said the delay caused by having to readjust the work schedule was not significant.
The cost of the project is being split between Northern Health and the Stuart Nechako Regional Hospital District, a regional body which raises money through property taxes for equipment purchases and construction projects.
Typically, hospital districts provide 40 per cent of the cost of a project with Northern Health or other agencies providing the rest but the percentage split can vary.
In this circumstance, the Stuart Nechako Hospital District was asked to provide $270,000 based on the original budget amount. It has now increased it contribution to $306,000.
Northern Health was faced last year with having to move its health centre from its current location when it could not reach a new leasing arrangement with the building’s owners.
When finished, the new location at the school will have an entrance separate from the school’s main one.
Construction is being managed so as not to interfere with the school’s operations.
School District 54 agreed to the idea of housing the health centre at the school after concluding it had the space available based on student enrolment and continuing school needs.
(With files from Priyanka Ketkar)