The Babine Elementary-Secondary School where the Northern Health clinic is set to come soon. (Black Press File Photo)

Granisle residents to get a new health clinic at Babine Elementary-Secondary School

Northern Health hopes to begin construction in July 2020

A partnership between Northern Health (NH) and School District 91 (SD91) is set to bring a health clinic to the Babine Elementary-Secondary School (BESS) replacing the Granisle Health Centre.

In 2019, NH approached the school district to explore the possibility of moving their existing Granisle Health Clinic to BESS. “After many years of hosting the Granisle Health Centre on privately owned land, Northern Health was unable to come to terms on renewing the land lease and so began to explore alternative sites for the long-term provision of health care in Granisle,” said Andrea Palmer, a spokesperson for NH.

The district started the evaluation of the school building, the space needs for students and staff based on current and projected enrollment and the feasibility of having such an association with a clinic within the school premises. The result was an approval for the project with two conditions for the construction and operation of the clinic; first, the clinic would need to have a separate entrance from the school entrance and second, NH is to ensure that the construction of the clinic would not interfere with the education of students. “Northern Health and SD 91 are working to confirm a permanent, long-term solution within the school which would ultimately result in a compartmentalized health service space, separate from the rest of the school with a front-facing, separate entrance,” confirmed Palmer.

In a press release sent out by SD91, the school district is looking forward to this school-community partnership and stated that such a partnership was on par with the Board of Education’s Strategic Plan. The school district also expressed excitement over the prospects that such a project would bring to the Granisle community and the students and staff of BESS. “We would say that for our students, their families and all Granisle residents, continued access to health services housed in a modern facility such as BESS, is an important partnership that will support the community for many years to come,” said Mike Skinner, the SD91 assistant superintendent.

The clinic will replace the existing Granisle Health Centre. “The new location, within the existing footprint of Babine Elementary-Secondary School, will ensure an enduring place for healthcare services in the community of Granisle, with refreshed space for staff and physicians to provide services and care,” said Palmer adding that the project, that is in its design tender phase, would be financially supported by NH.

The construction of the new clinic will begin in July 2020. “We are committed to the continuity of existing services in Granisle,” assured Palmer.

Priyanka Ketkar
Multimedia journalist

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