Recent announcements of government support for major hospital redevelopment projects in Brantford, Barrie and Bowmanville were great news for those communities but came as disappointments to proponents of the redevelopment of CMH.
It was discouraging to hear that the rationale for these projects included many of the same drivers for redevelopment of CMH such as the need to be prepared for future infectious disease outbreaks and changing demographics as well as the need for new and innovative approaches to care.
CMH has been laser focussed on the need to secure government approval to plan a new redeveloped campus of care but only reached the conclusion that new facilities were required after careful consideration of alternatives such as the redesign and renovation of the current hospital.
As far back as 2014, fully eight years ago, CMH concluded that new facilities were required and began the journey towards realizing that goal. In the face of increasing needs for investments to maintain current hospital operations and the length of time that was being required to secure a government approval to plan, CMH took another look at the feasibility of redesigning and renovating the existing hospital in the fall of 2021,
- At that time, CMH commissioned an experienced health care architect to assess the feasibility of redevelopment on the existing site. The conclusion of the experts was that redevelopment of the existing facilities to meet current building design and modern patient care standards is not recommended as: The current site of 2.13 acres is fully developed and landlocked meaning that any new construction would require demolition of all or part of the existing structures. In turn, options to relocate current operations during construction are nonexistent as for example, there are no available facilities locally where inpatient services could be decanted.
- The future plan requires an additional 35,000 square feet of space which is not achievable on the current site short of demolition of the Campbellford Memorial Multicare Lodge, which would be significantly detrimental to the housing stock in the Trent Hills area.
- Is it not possible to build additional floors above the current hospital. The most recent addition of the Emergency Department in 1985 was planned to have the capacity for additional floors above. However, this capability was not provided for in construction. The1952 building already has a second floor that was added in 1971 and further vertical expansion is not possible.
- A two-site option where the 1985 Emergency Department would be retained with a portion of hospital services constructed on a new site was rejected due to the capital and operating costs of two sites as well as the patient care limitations of such a model.
- The projected construction costs for a multi-phased program of expansion and redevelopment on the existing site would be approximately 92% of the amount required for a new facility on a single Greenfield site.
The conclusion of the architects in 2021 was clearly articulated.
“When all these considerations are factored in along with the end result being operationally inefficient over the future lifetime of the building, the option of a new, optimally energy efficient building on a greenfield site that would allow a multi-level care campus, new construction in far less time and no operational disruption during construction to patients, staff and the neighbourhood, it is apparent that redevelopment on the existing property is not the most functionally desirable or economically preferable option.”
The board of directors continues to advocate for a timely approval to proceed with the construction of a new hospital and CMH is ready to move to the next phase of facility planning. Community members can help by:
- Sharing what a new hospital would mean to you on social media using the hashtag #mynewCMH
- Liking, retweeting, and sharing CMH’s social media redevelopment posts
- Writing or calling your MPP and the Minister of Health and ask them to help secure Government approval to redevelop CMH
Board of Directors
Campbellford Memorial Hospital