The facility is now expected to be done in mid-November. Work was previously expected to be finished by the end of September, but a delay has been caused by the unavailability of skilled tradespeople. Sub-contractors have been struggling to attract skilled labourers to work on the project, Cypress Health Region reported.
Because of this problem, the date of “substantial completion” – the time when only minor construction work remains and the owner can make use of the facility – has been moved back a month-and-a-half.
After substantial completion, a series of steps must be followed prior to the actual opening of the facility. Staff will be trained and orientated to the new building’s layout, equipment, and technology, safety checks will be completed and cleaning will be done in all areas. Public tours will then be held, and long-term care residents will make the transition from Cypress Lodge to their new home. According to the health region, these processes could take up to six weeks to complete – resulting in an opening date of late December.
Brenda Schwan, executive director of human resources and capital project lead, said the health region realizes there are challenges being faced in recruiting the appropriate number of skilled tradespeople and appreciates the efforts of the contractors in securing additional workers.
“The quality of the work being completed is amazing and we continue to look forward to the completion of the project,” she stated in a press release on Monday.
Trent Regier, Cypress Health Region’s director of rural health, said the region plans to work with its construction partners in moving equipment and supplies into areas of the facility as they are completed.
“The entire continuum of all services will be transitioned into the new facility within a tight time frame when it is completely ready for occupancy,” he said.
Graham Construction, the project’s general contractor, is looking into options to bring in additional tradespeople, resulting in the recruitment of more electricians in the last two weeks. Graham and ZW Group, the project managers, have developed a recovery plan to address the shortages and intend to make up as much time as possible as they head towards construction completion.