Saskatoon

Study lists 200 problems in design and construction of Saskatchewan Hospital

The provincial government has released a report detailing a list of 200 problems with construction of the new Saskatchewan Hospital in North Battleford.

Provincial government says everything will be repaired by March of next year

The Saskatchewan Hospital North Battleford, which has almost 300 beds, opened in March 2019. (Bridget Yard/CBC)

The provincial government has released a report detailing a list of 200 problems with construction of the new Saskatchewan Hospital in North Battleford.

The problems include the design failing to account for suicide prevention, some of the doors not meeting fire code and a mysterious foul odour coming from the floor.

"This complex project did have its challenges," Ken Cheveldayoff, Minister Responsible for the Public Service Commission, told reporters during the report release Friday afternoon in Saskatoon.

Cheveldayoff said everything will be fixed by march of next year.

The new Saskatchewan Hospital opened its doors in March 2019. The psychiatric facility cost more than $400 million and was constructed under a private-public partnership, also known as a P3.

Just days after the opening, the roof began to leak and needed to be replaced. There were problems with insulation, with the drinking water and a host of other issues.

The government ordered an audit to see what other problems might be lurking.

Cheveldayoff said the audit "provides a foundation upon which the partners involved in the public-private partnership will continue to address any deficiencies in the facility."

He noted the private partners will be picking up the bill for the repairs.

Ken Cheveldayoff, Minister Responsible for the Public Service Commission, says most of the repairs to Saskatchewan Hospital in North Battleford are underway and should be completed by March. (Jason Warick/CBC)

Opposition NDP leader Ryan Meili said the project has been a disaster from the start and has been a disservice to some of the province's most vulnerable residents. Meili said the P3 process is at the root of all the problems.

"It was a P3, again, these contracts over and over give us lower quality buildings, long contracts — we're locked in for 30 years — and it ends up costing us much, much more than a traditional public build," Meili said.

The study noted there were many other areas that weren't examined at due to ongoing construction, heavy snowfall or a lack of testing.

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