The new acute-care hospital in Corner Brook is complete. (Colleen Connors/CBC )
Construction is finished on the new Western Memorial Regional Hospital in Corner Brook — 17 years after it was promised — and the next step is moving in.
The build officially began in August 2019 with a $750-million contract awarded through a public-private partnership.
Teara Freake, chief operating officer and vice-president of Newfoundland and Labrador Health Services' Western zone, called it a "remarkable day" for the region's residents, as well as the health authority's staff and clinicians.
"We're very excited to move forward with the possession of the building, as we have done today, and to get it ready to welcome patients."
The seven-storey, 600,000-square-foot facility has 164 beds. It will offer the same services provided at the existing Western Memorial Regional Hospital.
The hospital will also have an expanded cancer-care program, including radiation services, and is connected to the 145-bed long-term care home that opened in 2020.
But the actual opening of the health-care facility is still months out — expected in the spring.
Premier Andrew Furey says there are still some things to finish inside the newly built hospital in Corner Brook, but the move-in phase is underway. (Colleen Connors/CBC)
Premier Andrew Furey, in Corner Brook on Friday to mark the completion of construction, said there are likely some small items to finish inside the new hospital, but it's at the stage in which staff and patients can begin to move in.
"While there may need to be an extra coat of paint in some rooms, the percentage of the structural components have already been executed," Furey said.
Freake said there will be hard work over the next six months or so to move in additional equipment. Some equipment has already been installed.
"But as you can imagine there's a significant amount that's remaining to come in," she said.
"So we'll move in the equipment that we're responsible for as a part of this contract. We will bring our staff up, we will train them. They need to know how to move through this building, how to do flows, and we will stock the building."