‘Preferred site’ for new district hospital chosen

Following an extensive selection process that began in 2013

Following an extensive selection process that began in 2013, the Cowichan Valley Regional Hospital District (CVRHD) has identified the preferred site in the Cowichan Valley for the eventual replacement of the Cowichan District Hospital.

The CVRHD is pleased to announce that three properties located at 6751, 6771 and 6793 Bell McKinnon Road will form the site for a potential future new hospital. These properties are located south of Herd Road a short distance from the intersection of Highway 18 and the Trans-Canada Highway and within the Municipality of North Cowichan. The purchase of these lands is subject to rezoning to permit a hospital use.

Thirty-four sites were identified through the combination of a public Expression of Interest process and a land consultant working on behalf of the CVRHD. The sites were ranked based upon criteria that had been developed through a public consultation process coordinated by Our Cowichan Community Health Network and subsequently by Island Health and the CVRHD.

Acquiring a suitable site for a potential new hospital is one step in the planning process which remains in the very early stages. A new hospital for the Cowichan Valley will require provincial government approval; no approvals or funding are in place at this time. The objective of purchasing these properties in advance of receiving provincial government approvals is to benefit from today’s land values and ensure the most appropriate site for an eventual hospital project is available.

The CVRHD has been putting funds into reserves to accommodate its 40% share of the cost for a new hospital; to date there is $22.6 million in this reserve fund. Funding for the purchase of the properties is coming out of the reserve fund and once constructed, all costs associated with the property purchase will be included in the CVRHD’s 40% share of the hospital cost.