Stuart Lake Hospital Replacement - Fort St. James, BC

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Project Overview

Discussions regarding the replacement of the Stuart Lake Hospital have been ongoing since 2008.

In September 2015, Northern Health submitted a concept plan to the Ministry of Health. Northern Health submitted a revised concept plan to government in summer 2018, which was approved in October 2018.

The business plan, finalizing details such as scope and budget, was approved in January 2020. In April, 2020, the Request for Qualifications (RFQ) process for the Design Early Works Agreement was initiated, and closed in June 2020. In May 2021, Graham Design Builders LP was selected as the successful proponent of the project with their proposal for design, build, finance and maintenance of the new hospital.

Presently, the project is well into the procurement phase with plans to begin construction this building season of 2022. Northern Health is working with the contractor to ensure that the Stuart Lake Hospital meets the community and health service needs while keeping within the Design Build Agreement.

Engagement is a major part of Northern Health Capital Projects, and there will be many opportunities for input from the community as this project progresses. Once construction has started for the Stuart Lake Hospital Replacement, this milestone will be celebrated by us on-site, online, and in the media. We hope you will join us!

Project Overview

Discussions regarding the replacement of the Stuart Lake Hospital have been ongoing since 2008.

In September 2015, Northern Health submitted a concept plan to the Ministry of Health. Northern Health submitted a revised concept plan to government in summer 2018, which was approved in October 2018.

The business plan, finalizing details such as scope and budget, was approved in January 2020. In April, 2020, the Request for Qualifications (RFQ) process for the Design Early Works Agreement was initiated, and closed in June 2020. In May 2021, Graham Design Builders LP was selected as the successful proponent of the project with their proposal for design, build, finance and maintenance of the new hospital.

Presently, the project is well into the procurement phase with plans to begin construction this building season of 2022. Northern Health is working with the contractor to ensure that the Stuart Lake Hospital meets the community and health service needs while keeping within the Design Build Agreement.

Engagement is a major part of Northern Health Capital Projects, and there will be many opportunities for input from the community as this project progresses. Once construction has started for the Stuart Lake Hospital Replacement, this milestone will be celebrated by us on-site, online, and in the media. We hope you will join us!

  • Stuart Lake Hospital Showcased in Recruitment Video

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    Early in the morning on February 24, 2022, the 6ix Sigma film crew arrived at the Stuart Lake Hospital ready to meet the staff and start filming. The photographer roamed the hospital snapping pictures and getting to know hospital staff in the lab, radiology, and throughout the hospital, while the film crew followed Tiwi Mukubvu as she went about her day at work.

    Tiwi moved from Toronto to Fort St James as a new grad. Her enjoyment of her chosen home is clear. In the video she is seen at work with her colleagues at Stuart Lake hospital, at Murray Ridge Ski Hill, where her friend and fellow nurse Sarah Grill coaches her down the slopes, and as she and her daughter stroll along the frozen shore of Stone’s Bay on Stuart Lake, or Nakal Bun in Dakelh, where food gathering and recreation have been mainstays of humans for thousands of years.

    6ix Sigma brings her story as a second generation nurse and a Northern BC transplant to life, showcasing the care with which she and her colleagues tend to their patients. “We all work together,” Tiwi says. “It’s all hands on deck – someone is the right hand and someone is the left hand and we just work well together.”

    Tiwi Mukubvu at workNurses on skis at Murray Ridge

    Tiwi’s passion for her job and the community are a highlight of the video. Having learned to embrace the winter, she has no regrets about moving to Fort St James. The smile we see on her face as she as she and her daughter ramble the snowy shore doesn’t waiver. The video captures the winter beauty of Fort St James and showcases the outdoor opportunities adventure-seekers and nature-lovers enjoy when they’re off work.

    Tiwi is one individual among many who have chosen to move to Fort St James for work, and her hunch about the Stuart Lake Hospital was right: she’s found friends among her colleagues who all share her anticipation for the new hospital. “All our staff here are excited about it,” she says, “I think nothing beats working in a new facility.”

    Currently, Stuart Lake Hospital has 13 beds. The new hospital will more than double that number, and with an increase to the services offered, more staff are needed to fill nursing, physician, lab, and diagnostic imaging positions.

    6ix Sigma’s work, and the enthusiastic participation of the hospital staff in its creation, have resulted in a captivating video that prospective healthcare workers won’t be able to resist – the camaraderie and support of staff for one another and their commitment to their hospital and its patients are clearly on display.

    Adding to the puzzle library in long term care

    Stay tuned to Let’s Talk to view the video on its release.


  • Flag and Fall While the Ground is Frozen

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    Stuart Lake, looking east towards
    Fort St James

    Starting next week, tree clearing begins on the land where the Stuart Lake Hospital replacement will stand. This is an exciting step for the Stuart Lake Hospital project that brings us closer to a new, modern hospital for the people in the Fort St. James area.



    Tree clearing must take place while the ground is still hard. Luckily, we have very hard ground here in February. Taba, a locally owned and operated company, has been contracted for site preparation. Tree flagging is their first step, which begins this weekend, and equipment will arrive onsite early next week. Falling and clearing should start soon after that.



    We’ve had lots going on behind the scenes, but until now we haven’t had boots-on-the-ground news to offer. We’re in the procurement phase of the process with design development ongoing, which means we’ll be reaching out to the community for input and to connect about the project.



    Stay tuned - we’ll have more information to share soon!


  • Next step taken for new Stuart Lake Hospital

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    People in Fort St. James and the surrounding area are one step closer to a modern hospital as a preferred proponent has been selected for the design phase.

    "Our government is moving forward to deliver a new hospital in Fort St. James with the selection of a preferred proponent and signing of the design-early works agreement," said Adrian Dix, Minister of Health. ͞This announcement means we are closer to seeing what the hospital will look like and getting shovels in the ground."

    Norhern Health requested and received proposals from three shortlisted proponents for this stage of the procurement process, the design-early works agreement (DEWA). Those teams were Clark Builders, Graham Design Builders LP and SBW Wright Construction JV.

    As a result of the evaluation process, in co-ordination with Northern Health and Infrastructure BC, Graham Design Builders LP was selected as the successful proponent.

    The new hospital is expected to be three times larger in building size than the current facility with 27 beds, including 18 long-term care beds. There will be an emergency department with two treatment rooms, a trauma bay and ambulance bay. A laboratory and diagnostic imaging will be part of the new facility.

    The hospital will include a primary care centre to consolidate services offered in Fort St. James at one location, reducing the distance patients and staff need to go for medical appointments, community health services, diagnostic imaging and lab services.

    For more information, see the full media release.

  • Stuart Lake Hospital Replacement project on track

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    The Stuart Lake Hospital Replacement project continues to remain on track in terms of scope, schedule budget and quality.

    Northern Health has requested and received proposals from three shortlisted proponent teams. Their responses are in regards to the first stage of the procurement for a Design Early Works Agreement (DEWA). The responses are currently being evaluated through an established process in coordination with Northern Health and Infrastructure BC. Evaluations will continue through the beginning of December into early 2021.

    The current proposal phase evaluates the proponent proposals for design using the DEWA contract. Once the DEWA is signed, the successful Design Builder will pursue getting a Design Build Contract to provide Northern Health with the design and construction of the replacement facility in Stuart Lake. We are expecting to finalize the DEWA contract in January.

  • RFQ closed: 5 responses & next steps

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    by Michael Erickson,

    On June 18, 2020, the Request for Qualifications (RFQ) for the Stuart Lake Hospital Redevelopment Project closed and Northern Health received five responses from design-builder teams. Northern Health, with Partnerships BC, completed their evaluation and recommended a shortlist of three teams to proceed to the next stage of the process.

    The next step in this process will be the release of the Request for Proposals (RFP) for the project to the three proponents shortlisted in the RFQ, this was issued on August 4th, 2020. This RFP process is open only to the top three companies that were shortlisted through the initial RFQ process. They are Clark Builders Design-Builder, Graham Design Builders LP, and The Design-Builder joint venture (JV) partnership between Smith Bros. and Wilson (BC) Ltd. (SBW) and 1229917 BC Ltd., a corporation wholly owned by Wright Construction Western Inc. (Wright).

    The first RFP closes in October 2020, and Northern Health, with their consulting team, will evaluate the proposals to select one team to execute a Design Early Works Agreement and then proceed to the next stage, the second RFP for the construction.

    A request for Qualifications (RFQ) is a process that allows organizations to consider proposals based on the experience and qualifications of firms interested in submission (a straight tender considers only price). A scoring matrix is included in this process, so that bidders understand what the organization is looking for. This assists in eliminating potential issues, including the avoidance of unqualified bidders submitting the lowest bid. An RFQ also encourages bidders who might otherwise not submit if the field of competition appears too large and the chances of bid success are presumed low. Putting together an accurate yet competitive tender price is a lot of work. If there is a higher likelihood that an unqualified bidder could put in a low bid then this discourages qualified and appropriate bidders from submitting.

    Bidders passing the RFQ (usually up to three) are then able to respond to the next step of the procurement (a Tender or Request for Proposals, RFP) which then results in a Construction Contract (this type of contract requires that the contractor agree to be responsible for job execution at a set price).

  • January 2020

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    The replacement of Stuart Lake Hospital in Fort St. James was announced by BC Premier John Horgan on January 18, 2020. Northern Health is now moving quickly to move the project forward and start the work of procurement, and ultimately construction.


  • New hospital approved for Fort St. James

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    Better care is on the way for people in Fort St. James and the surrounding region. The Stuart Lake Hospital replacement project has received the official green light, with government approval of the concept plan.

    “It’s a go! This new hospital has been needed for a long time, and is why Premier John Horgan and I made it a key priority in our efforts to improve health care throughout northern B.C.,” said Adrian Dix, Minister of Health. “The new hospital will bring better acute, primary and community care for people living in Fort St. James, local First Nations and the surrounding area. For a growing senior population in the region and for the economy as a whole, it is an essential public service.


  • September 2019

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    The business plan phase - now underway - will finalize details such as scope and budget for the replacement of Stuart Lake Hospital. This stage takes approximately 12 to 18 months – current planned submission for review by government is end of 2019

    When the Business case has been developed and completed the plan will be submitted to government for scope and funding approval. Upon completion of Business Planning the project will move into procurement followed by construction. All costs will be finalized in the business planning phase.

Page last updated: 28 Sep 2022, 01:07 PM