CKHA Receives $7.3M In Funding For New Power Plant

Lori Marshall posing with Liz Sandals in front of display for Replacement Power Plant Project at announcement for funding at Chatham-Kent Health Alliance Wallaceburg site. (Photo provided by Richard Barry).

The Chatham-Kent Health Alliance (CKHA) announced it will be receiving $7.3-million in funding towards the construction of a new power plant at its Wallaceburg site.

In a news release, the organization says that it has received approval for the Replacement Power Plant Project from the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care to replace infrastructure at its Wallaceburg site.

The total project cost is estimated at $8-million. The province’s grant of up to $7.3-million will go towards the construction of a new power plant to replace aging equipment with new boilers, generators, and electrical distribution equipment.┬áThe remainder of the project cost will be funded through hospital funds allocated for investment in this project.

Guelph MPP Liz Sandals made the announcement at CKHA’s Sydenham Campus on Saturday at 11am.

“I am pleased that this funding from the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care will provide for the construction of a new power plant with modern equipment, and facilitate the delivery of the healthcare services which the community needs at the Wallaceburg hospital site,” says Sandals.

The expansion is part of the province’s plan to update hospital infrastructure in Chatham-Kent and follows the Ministry’s 2017 approval for $1.5-million of funding under the Hospital Energy Efficiency Program (HEEP) to replace old heating and cooling distribution equipment at the Wallaceburg site.

“Hospitals need modern infrastructure to deliver the care their communities need. With this investment, we are ensuring that the people of Chatham-Kent will continue to access high quality services today and in the future,” says Minister of Health and Long-Term Care Dr. Helena Jaczek.

CKHA President and CEO Lori Marshall describes the power plant as the backbone and nervous system of the hospital.

“The Wallaceburg site is going to continue to operate and continue to provide 24/7 emergency department services, inpatient beds, and some outpatient services,” explains Marshall. “We needed this renewed power plant in order to support the current infrastructure that we have.”

Marshall says this is also an important first step for the hospital’s renovations moving forward.

“This really does signal both the commitment from the Chatham-Kent Health Alliance and from the government towards the fact that we are one team in two sites supporting the residents of Chatham-Kent,” says Marshall. “It really is important for us that this kind of investment is happening in our communities and will allow us to continue to provide care going forward.”

With the project approval now received, the hospital plans to start working with the architectural design team and tender the project later in 2018.

Construction completion is expected in 2019 with minimal disruption to patient services.