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Land secured for High Prairie health care centre

April 21, 2011

Edmonton… The Government of Alberta has finalized an agreement with the Town of High Prairie and the Peavine Métis Settlement to secure land for High Prairie’s new $90 million health care centre.

“I am pleased that we have been able to partner with the town and the Peavine Métis Settlement to acquire land for this very important project. We now have a site that will help meet the health care needs of the community, today and in the future,” said Ray Danyluk, Minister of Infrastructure. “We are making real progress on delivering a health care facility that works for the High Prairie community. Consultations with health professionals and the design team began this month, and we will soon have a Construction Manager in place for this project.”“Improving access and reducing wait times are key elements of our recently released 5-year Health Action Plan,” said Gene Zwozdesky, Minister of Health and Wellness. “Our Health Capital Plan provides the residents of High Prairie and surrounding area with the infrastructure needed to increase access to important services like continuing care, acute care and mental health services.”

“This is definitely one of the most important steps for this project and I am delighted to see this milestone finally realized,” said Pearl Calahasen, MLA for Lesser Slave Lake. “Now the real work begins, and I look forward to having my constituents involved with government as this necessary project continues toward completion. I thank the people of the region for their patience and hard work on this project.”

“With the signing of the important Land Transfer and Servicing Agreements, the three partners – the Town of High Prairie, the Peavine Métis Settlement and the Government of Alberta – have taken a significant step forward on our new $90 million hospital project,” said Rick Dumont, Mayor of High Prairie. “I am extremely pleased with what has been accomplished to date, with the strong collaborative partnerships which have already been forged, and excited about what this project will bring to High Prairie and surrounding communities in the years ahead.”

“We are proud to be working with the Town and the Government of Alberta in delivering on this priority health care infrastructure project,” said Ken Noskey, Chair of the Peavine Métis Settlement council. “Good progress has been made, a strong working relationship has been put in place, and the impact the project will have on community development throughout our region will soon be felt in a big way.”

Initial plans identified 14 acres for the health centre. To allow for future expansion, two additional land parcels totaling six acres were selected. The Peavine Métis Settlement, owners of the two parcels, agreed to swap this land with the Town of High Prairie, in exchange for other properties. In return for the entire 20 acre site, Alberta Infrastructure will contribute $2 million worth of site services. This includes the construction of a hospital access road and the paving of an adjacent road.

Alberta Infrastructure has also acquired about 6.5 acres of adjacent land on the east side of the hospital lands. This will serve as a storm water pond.

The High Prairie healthcare centre will include 30 acute care beds, replacing the current 25 at the existing hospital, as well as continuing care beds, which will provide a bright, modern home for residents. The project will include community and mental health programs, as well as a post-secondary component in partnership with Northern Lakes College.

“Residents of all ages, young families to seniors, will have access to the services they need to support their health, in a facility that brings a broad range of primary care and medical services under one roof,” said Shelly Pusch, Alberta Health Services, Vice President, North Zone.

Design work is underway with Stantec Architecture, and construction is expected to begin immediately following environmental and geo-technical testing on the land. Project completion is anticipated by spring 2013.

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Media inquiries may be directed to:
Tracy Larsen, Communications
Alberta Infrastructure
780-422-7632

To call toll free within Alberta dial 310-0000.

Shane Pospisil, Principal
Nichols Applied Management for Town of High Prairie and Peavine Métis Settlement
780-860-5100


BACKGROUNDER

• The 20-acre site will provide space for future expansion, including the accommodation of future health and wellness programs and services for the High Prairie community. The additional land parcels also allow for optimum design and site usage.

• Alberta Infrastructure’s site services agreement includes the construction of a hospital access road connecting the facility with Highway 2 to the south. Alberta Infrastructure will also pave 39th Street on the west side of the hospital site.

• Alberta Infrastructure will construct the storm water pond and the related drainage systems on the adjacent lands to the east of the hospital site. When these upgrades are complete, the province will turn over responsibility for its operation and maintenance to the Town of High Prairie.

• Alberta Infrastructure continues to engage closely with its community partners. Initial planning and consultation sessions began April 4 and 5. The meetings were a successful start, and Alberta Infrastructure will continue working over the coming months with local health professionals, Northern Lakes College, municipalities, and the public.

• Once initial designs are completed by Stantec Architecture, the project team will consult with the broader community. These public consultations are expected to occur this summer.

• Alberta Infrastructure will provide technical and professional support to the project team, and will work with Alberta Health Services through a rigorous planning and commissioning process to ensure that the new facility meets the project objectives.

• The new facility will support integrated, accessible patient and family-centered care.

• Building on a strong primary care foundation, community care facilities will enable interdisciplinary team practice, bringing a whole care team to individuals and families in one location.

• Alberta Infrastructure is working closely with Alberta Health and Wellness and Alberta Health Services to ensure the facility meets the needs of the community and is constructed in a cost-effective manner.

• Altogether, 22 facility projects in 15 communities are included in Phase One of the Alberta government’s 3-Year Health Capital Plan 2010-2013. These projects reflect more than $1.4 billion in total provincial support.

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