Engineering manager for Greystone Construction Ben Jardine right outlines some of the progress that has happened so far for the Haliburton Highlands Health Services new Palliative Care Centre during a tour on Feb. 16. The project is progressing on schedule with a completion date set for mid-May with occupancy expected by mid-June.

Construction on new palliative wing on schedule

By Angelica Ingram

Feb. 21 2017

While the weather has brought more snow than some might want it hasn’t delayed progress on the new Haliburton Highlands Health Services Palliative Care Centre at the Haliburton hospital.

A tour of the facility last week gave an in-depth look at the project progressing on schedule with a completion date of mid to late May and occupancy expected by mid June said Ben Jardine engineering manager with Greystone Construction.

“We have had a lot of good progress recently” he said.

The construction site typically has between three to 10 employees on location every day.

The work began inside with the crew setting up the hoarding walls and drywall partition inside the hallway.

“Then the noise started. We got in with hammers and chisels and started breaking away. There were areas we had to shore up or temporarily support while we cut away sections of the roof … that was certainly the messiest part of the job.”

Around the time of the tour which was on Feb. 16 the crew was working on the foundation level constructing insulated concrete forms.

“Quite literally these big Lego blocks that connect together with Styrofoam on each side and we fill that core solid with reinforced concrete” said Jardine. “The benefit of this over poured concrete is No. 1 the insulation stays so you get excellent long-term performance with minimal heat loss. Also having the modular blocks means that we can work better to the ground so we don’t have to dig down as far.”

Jardine said the company was targeting a concrete pour for the beginning of this week.

“Everything is dependent on weather at this stage of the job” he said.

The concrete pour will be a huge milestone for the project as it will mean the crew will then be working above the ground framing walls and starting to enclose the new palliative care wing.

“Just in time for the good weather we’ll be starting to work inside” Jardine joked.

The wing will have wood frame walls which is the same for the majority of the hospital.

The roof will be a PVC membrane which is heat welded together and can expand up to 200 per cent before it starts to tear or risk any holes he said.

“The whole front of the building will have big windows” he said. “It will go quick from this point on.”

The project is using a number of local businesses such as Emmerson Lumber Greg Bishop Surveying Churko Electric Blair Sand and Gravel and Haliburton Lumber to name a few.

“Being from a small town ourselves it’s important for us to try and use local vendors as much as possible” said Jardine.

The engineering manager said health and safety is paramount.

“On a project such as this where there are lots of people around the facility one of the most important things for us is to just have a record of who was on the job site at all times … that’s sort of a No. 1 priority.”

Jardine said the project is running on time with minimal interruptions.

“We’re soon to be ahead of schedule if the pour goes well and we can get some framing up next week” he said. “In the next two weeks you will see the shape of the addition.”

The project is expected to cost a total of $1.25 million which is being fundraised by the Haliburton Highlands Health Services Foundation. To date $1.068 million has been raised said executive director Dale Walker.