$4 million in improvements so far at CEEH

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Workers from Westhoek Construction push one of the boiler units into CEEH.

Slowly but surely, Bluewater Health is improving the infrastructure of Charlotte Eleanor Englehart Hospital to prepare for the redevelopment of the building.

But Alex Sullo, Bluewater Health’s director of facilities, says it will be sometime yet before the infrastructure work will be completed so the redesign of the Emergency Department can take place.

Sullo and his colleagues were at CEEH Tuesday, watching as Westhoek Construction brought the new boilers for the hospital into a recently constructed building at the back of the hospital near the acute care wing. The three new units will heat and provide hot water for the hospital as it expands over the next 10 years.

Sullo says they’ve been busy improving the infrastructure of the building for nearly two years now – and there is at least another two years of work to go.

“There has been a number of projects; there have been some new sanitary sewers installed, some new water piping, the new boiler plant, and the shell for it…and the cooling tower which was delivered in May which has pretty well wrapped up,” he told The Independent.

Still to come, installing new heads for the boiler system, more electrical work and eventually replacing the oxygen system which runs through the hospital.

“As well, we are also going to be doing some renovations within the acute care wing. We’re converting some of the rooms from semi private to private rooms with their own private bathrooms,” says Sullo noting they were built in the 1960s.

While they renovate, big part of the work becomes removing asbestos from the building. Officials say there is a “significant amount” of the insulation and it is about 10 per cent of the work being done.

Sullo says the $4.5 million worth of work which has already been completed is only part of the infrastructure renovations needed before the redesign of the Emergency Department moves forward.

The hospital has applied for funding from the province to move some of the existing infrastructure which around the emergency department to the back of the hospital. He’s expecting that will cost about $2 million. Typically, officials say, the ministry makes funding decisions for these type of projects in October.

“We have at least hopefully another year to get this completed and then jump right into that.”

Sullo expects it could be another two years before the work inside the Emergency Department begins. The province has p