Cost of Penticton hospital plan up $200,000

Hospital district says Interior Health estimated low when it was under the gun the come up with a price for developing a business case

The cost of preparing a business case for Penticton Regional Hospital expansion has itself expanded.

Interior Health, which is leading the exercise, has now pegged the cost of the work at $700,000, up $200,000 from an estimate provided in March after Premier Christy Clark gave the go-ahead.

Planners “had one week to get their notes prepared and figure out what the cost was going to be to move this to the next phase, so they just gauged incorrectly,” said Summerland Mayor Janice Perrino, chairwoman of the board of the Okanagan Similkameen Regional Hospital District.

The board of the hospital district, which is funding 40 per cent of the cost of the business case, gave approval Thursday to up its contribution to $280,000. The B.C. Treasury Board is covering the rest.

An identical split is also anticipated for capital costs associated with construction of the proposed $300-million, four-storey patient care tower.

The business case should include detailed plans and cost estimates for the tower, and is expected to be complete early next year, when it will be sent to the B.C. government for funding approval.

Perrino has acknowledged the business case will likely be submitted after the 2014 provincial budget is compiled, but is holding out hope there will be money available for the project.