Funding fuels upgrade to hospital boiler plant

Capital Regional Hospital District board approved a $1.41 million contribution to $6.5 million upgrade to RJH boiler plant

  • May. 20, 2015 8:00 p.m.

A $6.5 million upgrade to the Royal Jubilee Hospital boiler plant will keep the hot water hot and the air at a comfortable temperature for patients and staff for decades to come.

The Capital Regional Hospital District board approved a $1.41 million contribution towards a $4.7 million addition to the existing Royal Jubilee Hospital boiler plant. This amount is on top of $1.8 million previously approved for other associated boiler plant infrastructure upgrades. This brings the total boiler plant capital investment at Royal Jubilee to $6.5 million, of which $2.13 million is from the CRHD. The remaining funds are expected to be approved by the Ministry of Health and Island Health shortly.

“What is ‘under the hood’ of our hospitals doesn’t often get a lot of attention,” said Joe Murphy, vice-president of operations and support services at Island Health. “The reality is that systems like reliable and efficient boilers keep our hospitals operational and are vital in supporting the delivery of safe, high quality and comfortable care for patients.”

The current boiler plant and part of its distribution system at Royal Jubilee has been operating since the mid-1960s and has reached the end of its useful life.  Significant upgrades would be needed to prevent a potential hospital shutdown due to heating plant failure. While Royal Jubilee has three boilers and as such would be able to continue to function if one of them went down quietly, there could be a need for a hospital shutdown if more than one boiler was no longer functioning.

“Projects like boiler plants may not be as interesting as a new hospital building or diagnostic imaging equipment but they are equally important and the CRHD is pleased to continue its support for excellent health care projects in our community,” said David Howe, CRHD board chair.

Once all the project approvals are secured, Island Health will issue a public tender. Work is expected to begin in the summer, with the final project completed in 2017.