All options for old hospital being explored

Chris Clegg
South Peace News

It looks like the old High Prairie Hospital will be standing for quite a while yet.

No money was set aside in the provincial budget Oct. 24 for demolition of the building.

“It’s on ongoing thing,” says Lesser Slave Lake MLA Pat Rehn. “I’m trying to get a timeline and a commitment.”

The old hospital still remains as an Alberta Health Services [Government of Alberta] asset.

“[AHS’s] most recent estimates to demolish and remediate the site are in the range of $8.5 million,” says a report from Rehn’s office.

“There is asbestos, etc., in the building.

“AHS advised that they do not currently have the funding to demolish nor is there an identified use for repurposing.”

“We’re exploring all options to see what makes the most sense,” says Rehn.

Rehn says he toured the building with Heart River Housing manager Lindsay Pratt to see if some part of the building could be saved and used.

Rehn confirmed the most recent public statement by AHS, stating there has not been any decision on the building and that could be why a decision to demolish the building has not been finalized.

Rehn says the matter comes up frequently with Alberta Health Minister Tyler Shandro.

“There is no timeline but it’s front and centre [in discussions],” he says.

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