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Five-years of construction worries for new CDH close window on current site

Concerns about construction disruption are one of the major reasons officials are leaning against building a new Cowichan District Hospital on the current site. - Peter W. Rusland/file
Concerns about construction disruption are one of the major reasons officials are leaning against building a new Cowichan District Hospital on the current site.
— image credit: Peter W. Rusland/file

Don't expect our new Cowichan District Hospital to be built on its current Gibbins Road site.

Rob Hutchins, Cowichan Valley Regional Hospital District chairman, cited a recent master-site plan to explain how the current 12.8-acre site poses a passel of problems if the new hospital were build there.

For one thing, CDH's vital medivac helipad would be grounded during four to five years of construction.

The 45-year-old site is also sloped, posing seismic and design glitches.

Disruption of patients and staff, plus additional construction costs — before the current facility was demolished — posed worries too.

Those issues would also plague an option of adding new wings to asbestos-lined CDH, he indicated.

"The recommendation from the master site plan is to look for another site," Hutchins said of Island Health's 2010-11 document.

It's ordered mapping of the valley's 500-year flood areas to ferret historically dry properties — of various, unknown prices — for the new CDH costing $350 million-plus, and serving Cowichanians about 50 years.

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