DCN ARCHIVES

September 1, 2004

More work planned for MUHC site

BY IRWIN RAPOPORT

DCN CORRESPONDENT

MONTREAL

Now that CP Rail is removing the railway tracks and other infrastructure from the Glen Yard site—home of the $1.1-billion McGill University Health Centre’s (MUHC) megahospital, plans are afoot for a cleanup of the rail yard that has occupied the site since the early 1900s.

“(The contract for the cleanup) is going to be a public tender, probably to pre-qualify firms in the first wave and secondly to select a bidder,” said Jean Dufresne, MUHC’s chief planning officer.

“The general framework is to award a contract around Christmas so the work can proceed in the spring.”

The cleanup is expected to cost $35 million.

The Quebec government has pledged $800 million for the construction, additional federal government funding is expected and MUHC has already initiated a capital campaign to raise the remaining funds.

Dufresne says the site will likely appear in the form of a village with inter-connected buildings.

The Shriners Hospital, should the organization choose to remain in Montreal, has a standing offer of five acres to build its hospital on the site, which will be placed next to the relocated Montreal Children’s Hospital.

The MUHC will retain the Montreal General Hospital, referred to as the Mountain site, which will receive some of the sections currently housed at the Royal Victoria Hospital, as will the Glen Yard site.

“We will most likely proceed in phases,” said Dufresne, who hopes to see the first buildings completed in 2007-2008.

According to the current plan, the Glen Yard site is expected to have 532 patient beds and the Mountain site should have 300.

“We have been asked to revise this downwards and we will re-submit a plan in October,” said Dufresne.

The MUHC will be hiring an architect whose mission will be to create a master plan that is approved by city officials and ensure that a municipal zoning change for the Glen Yard site is secured.

But with different buildings to be constructed on the Glen site, architects will be hired to work on projects such as the Shriners Hospital, the children’s hospital, the ambulatory centre and other units.

This will also apply to construction companies and other services.

The MUHC is also looking at an estimated $32 million worth of road construction.

A committee, whose members are from the MUHC, the City of Montreal and the provincial transport ministry, have put together a plan that calls for a new access ramp to Highway 15 and a new exit ramp relatively close to the hospital.

“These are not exclusive to the hospital,” said Dufresne.

“There are currently some problems in circulation at some intersections close to the hospital, so we’re tackling these problems at the same time.”

The hospital site will be built next to a subway stop and commuter train station, which is expected to increase the number of people who access the MUHC hospitals by public transportation from it’s current 38-per-cent level.

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