In 2020, it was announced the District of Sicamous would receive $6 million in federal and provincial grant funding for the development of the Shuswap Healing Centre. (District of Sicamous image)

In 2020, it was announced the District of Sicamous would receive $6 million in federal and provincial grant funding for the development of the Shuswap Healing Centre. (District of Sicamous image)

Sicamous dedicated to creating community space at future Shuswap Healing Centre

District aims to get environmental, geotechnical and archaeological work started this year

The District of Sicamous hopes to get geotechnical, environmental and archaeological assessments underway this summer at 200 Main St., the future home of the Shuswap Healing Centre.

At its May 11 meeting, district council received an update from town manager Evan Parliament on the healing centre and how it’s proceeding. He said work continues on the design of the planned building, on both its interior and exterior. He said the building will be 15,000 square feet and, with the dedicated parking lot, will take up approximately one acre. The interior will be comprised of three “nodes” dedicated to community space, healing and primary care.

Regarding public concerns around the loss of park/green space to accommodate the healing centre, Parliament said the district is committed to make the facility and surrounding property a gathering space.

“We’re going to be dedicating an acre of green space; we’re also looking at incorporating in the design a potential rooftop space for the community,” said Parliament. “And also, with the community node I spoke earlier about, this building will have 3,000- to 3,500-square feet dedicated to community space. This will be a large circular room that welcomes all people across the region to this wonderful facility… It will not have an institutional, hospital, medical clinic feel. It will have a feel designed to be inclusive, and this of course aligns with our community wellness plan and our commitment to truth and reconciliation.”

Parliament said the district is working with the Splatsin band towards getting environmental, geotechnical and archaeological investigations done at 200 Main. In a written report to council, Parliament notes the archaeological investigation will be a time- and cost-intensive exercise.

“If a relic is found or something of significance that suggests a prior use of the site, a significant delay could occur and lead to a more robust investigation,” reads the report. “Because of the possible delay risk, we would recommend that this process (and the accompanying stripping and grading of the building pad) begin in fall of 2022…”

Regarding the budget, Parliament noted numerous challenges – COVID-19, inflation and supply chain issues – have arisen since the district submitted grant funding applications in 2018 (which led to $6 million in federal and provincial grant funding), and the cost of construction may be higher than anticipated. So the district will be undergoing a “value engineering” exercise, in which a value engineer “will try to align our wish list with actual available dollars to build.”

Parliament said the district wants to make the Shuswap Healing Centre as green as possible, and is pursuing grant opportunities including a Clean BC grant for carbon footprint reduction funding.

Read more: Sicamous to receive $6 million for construction of Shuswap Healing Centre

Read more: Update: Proposed medical building in Sicamous to be called Shuswap Healing Centre


lachlan@saobserver.net
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