Health Minister Adrian Dix was joined by individuals from throughout the South Okanagan at Penticton Regional Hospital to celebrate a milestone in the construction of its new patient tower.
With the concrete phase of the David E. Kampe Tower now complete, the structural-steel phase underway and the overall tower construction approaching the halfway point, residents can look forward to the tower opening its doors to patients in spring 2019.
As part of the ceremony, staff, physicians, volunteers, and community members were invited to sign their name on a structural-steel beam, a permanent and visible reminder of the support local residents have shown for this project. To conclude the ceremony, the eight-foot steel beam, covered in signatures, was hoisted and placed into its permanent location in the David E. Kampe Tower.
“The measurement of the David E. Kampe Tower represents more than the metres of rebar placed and the volume of concrete poured, but the foundation of public health care it strengthens within the community,” said Dix. “I have been a strong supporter of the project from the beginning and I know what it will mean to the people of the South Okanagan.”
The David E. Kampe Tower is Phase 1 of the $312.5-million Penticton Regional Hospital Patient Care Tower Project. At six storeys and approximately 26,155 square metres (281,530 square feet), the tower is designed to make accessing services easier for patients by bringing programs currently dispersed throughout the hospital into one convenient location. Patients will benefit from a new ambulatory care centre, five new operating rooms, a rooftop helipad and space to allow the UBC faculty of medicine program to expand. Patients will benefit from 84 single-patient rooms, each with its own washrooms, which will improve infection control and provide patients and their families with a quiet and private space for recovery.
“I am thrilled to see the progress that has been made on the tower,” said Judy Sentes, vice-chair of the Okanagan-Similkameen Regional Hospital District. “This milestone represents another step forward in ensuring quality health care for the South Okanagan for many years to come.”
Following completion of the tower, Phase 2 of the project will begin. Phase 2 includes renovations to vacated areas in the existing hospital to allow for an expanded emergency department in a space almost four times the size of the current department, plus renovations for support areas of pharmacy, stores, and laundry.