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Media Release

WRHA provides update on HSC Winnipeg Women’s Hospital construction

Building estimated to be operational in fall 2019, remains on budget

Winnipeg Regional Health Authority
Wednesday, December 6, 2017

The Winnipeg Regional Health Authority today provided a construction update on the new Women’s Hospital at HSC Winnipeg and offered the public a sneak peak of the interior of the state-of-the-art, $232.9 million, 388,000-square-foot facility.

“The new HSC Winnipeg Women’s Hospital is the largest health care capital project in Manitoba’s history both in the scale of construction and the complexity of the project,” said Réal Cloutier, interim president and chief executive officer, WRHA. “The facility is being built to the exacting specifications required to provide safe patient care for women, babies and their families. While the revised timeframe is regrettable, it is necessary to deliver a completed project able to provide excellent patient care.”

Cloutier confirmed that capital planning now anticipates substantial completion of the project to occur in the fall of 2018 based on revised estimates from general contractor Ellis Don. Once construction is officially complete, it is expected to take 12 months to ensure the building is ready for occupancy by staff and patients. During this 12-month timeframe, equipment will be installed, systems will be tested and staff will be trained within the new space.

The project remains on budget and is expected to open to patients in the fall of 2019.

Previously estimated to be operational in 2016, the project has seen construction challenges that have delayed the timelines for opening. Most notably, this includes:

  • the collapse of shoring on Sherbrook Street and subsequent remediation work on the shoring and foundation in 2012;
  • a fire in the Diagnostic Centre of Excellence (DCE) in 2013 which affected infrastructure that is shared with the new HSC Women’s, including a tunnel, skywalk, and physical plant services;
  • the interdependence of infrastructure that supports and connects new developments on William Ave. (HSC Women’s and DCE) to HSC’s main campus, specifically, the completion of a second central energy plant and the relocation and integration of utilities (electrical, sewer and water);
  • the insolvency of one of the original electrical subcontractors, which delayed a significant portion of key electrical work.

“HSC Women’s and St. Boniface Hospital continue to provide excellent care to women and their families in existing facilities,” said Lynda Tjaden, Program Director, Women’s Health, WRHA. “While births have increased over the past eight years on average by approximately one to two per cent each year, changes made to the model of care on the existing labour, delivery, recovery and postpartum unit (LDRP) at HSC to be consistent with the design and model of care to be used in the new HSC Women’s, have allowed for increased capacity at the existing site.”

In 2016-2017, 5,739 babies were delivered at HSC Women’s. An additional 5,642 babies were delivered at St. Boniface Hospital.

Designed by Architecture 49 (formerly Smith Carter Architects) and Parkin Architects, planning for the new facility included engagement with members of the public, healthcare staff, former patients and their families, as well as neighbours around the HSC Winnipeg campus. Close attention was paid to creating a welcoming, calming and respectful environment, including private rooms and bathrooms; windows and natural light in each room; and accommodation in each room for support people.