Grande Prairie hospital construction back on after province picks new construction manager

The partially-completed Grande Prairie Regional Hospital. Contributed/Kohl Harris

More than two months after the Alberta government terminated a contract with another builder, construction should resume soon on a new hospital in Grande Prairie.

In a tweet posted to her account on Friday afternoon, Infrastructure Minister Sandra Jansen said Clark Builders would be taking over the build and full construction activity is expected to resume in the new year.

The trouble began at the end of July when the government said that Graham Construction and Engineering was in default of its contract to finish the hospital. The firm was given 15 days to get the construction plan back on track.

READ MORE: Construction firm responsible for overdue, over-budget Grande Prairie hospital issued notice of default

In August, the company submitted a mitigation strategy but, after a review, the government said the plan didn’t provide the certainty needed in terms of timeline or budget.

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On Sept 10., the government announced it had terminated the services of Graham Construction, but the company said it wasn’t fired – it quit.

The government told Global News that a letter sent on Aug. 17 served as notice that it was terminating the contract, not the other way around.

READ MORE: Graham Construction disputes government’s take on Grande Prairie hospital problems

The Grande Prairie Regional Hospital will provide space for everything from acute care to cancer treatment, obstetrics, MRI services and surgeries when it opens.

The hospital was originally supposed to open in the spring of 2017. In 2015, the opening date was shifted to 2019. The province expects a new construction schedule to be finalized “in the next few months.”

– With files from Emilty Mertz, Kaylen Small, Heide Pearson/Global News

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