Options for design stage of medical centre renovation considered by committee

GORE BAY—The Town of Gore Bay is at the design stage for the Gore Bay Medical Centre renovation project and after more information is provided and final decisions on the design are established, the town will be looking at a fundraising campaign for the construction work on the building.

“The architects for the project, Belanger Solach Architecture, presented three options and we (town public works and properties committee) were reviewing which one would be the best,” said Mayor Dan Osborne who pointed out more information is to be obtained on ambulance access to the building after a committee meeting last week.

Mayor Osborne noted, “the committee felt the first option would be the best for the medical centre. He pointed out a recommendation will be made to town council.”

In a summary provided by the architects for the first option, “the first design option consideration for the Gore Bay Medical Centre focuses on creating a single accessible main entrance and extensive renovation of the main floor vacant space and lower floor. A small addition at the main entrance includes a new stair, an enclosed wheelchair lift and vestibule. This vestibule provides a single secure point of access for both floors at all times of the day. The main entrance is accessed through a new exterior ramp and stair, reoriented for a clear, welcoming view of the main entrance from the parking lot and main street. Renovation of the vacant spaces incudes two offices for flexible, part-time use of various health care service and a larger main office for the Health Sciences North mental health service. A new training/board room is included on the main floor for use by the medical clinic staff, medical students/residents, home care service and for flexible use by various health care services in the building. Renovation of the medical clinic area includes replacement of all interior finishes, new handwash stations, and new staff room with kitchenette. Additionally, the training/board room can be accessed from the medical clinic through the renovated staff room.”

“The lower floor includes extensive renovation and relation of existing service to utilize the large community space,” the architect’s report explains. “Option one includes the relocation of Contact North to the larger community space, creating space for additional/larger office spaces for the massage therapy service, audiology and future health care services. The lower floor renovation includes new finishes and fixtures throughout.”

To improve filtration in the building, humidity control and efficiency, the two existing heat recovery units will be replaced with one new unit, and new ductwork will be run throughout the main lower floor. With the HSN mental health services located on level one, the previous office will be taken over to create one large mechanical room. Electrical renovations in this option include life safety upgrades with new emergency lighting, exit signs, as well as all existing and new light fixtures to be replaced with LED fixtures. The IT area on the main floor located in the med room will be consolidated into a single IT room in the same location and new electrical distribution panels at the lower level, the report indicates. New programmable thermostats are included in this renovation option to improve energy efficiency.

“The goal of this option is to address accessibility, improve efficiency of spaces and energy efficiency and improve the facilities infection control and function through new finishes and controlled access points,” the report outlines.

The total estimated cost for the project is $1,278,000.

“Once we choose a final design, the architect will finalize everything with the engineers and provide a cost. Then we will go forward with fundraising,” said Mayor Osborne. “More information is required, and once final decisions are made, fundraising, hopefully with support of other municipalities and First Nations on Western Manitoulin, (from Billings township west and maybe Central Manitoulin west), will be initiated.”