ER construction, fundraising coming along

Community agencies and businesses continue to buck up for the Nanaimo and District Hospital Foundation's campaign

Community agencies and businesses continue to buck up for the Nanaimo and District Hospital Foundation’s campaign to raise $4 million to buy equipment for the emergency department expansion project, which is so far on time and on budget.

TD Canada Trust became the third financial institution to donate to the project when it handed a $50,000 cheque to the foundation last week.

Maeve O’Byrne, foundation president, said the organization has raised about $1.5 million – or about 37 per cent of its goal.

“So we’ve still got another $2.5 million to raise,” she said. “We can’t slow up. We really want to push to get that [$4 million] so we can purchase all the equipment that’s needed.”

The emergency department campaign, launched in September 2009, is the foundation’s biggest campaign so far and staff have their work cut out for them because construction is proceeding as planned and scheduled for completion in September 2012.

“June 2012 is our goal,” said O’Byrne. “We’ve got a year and a bit. But if we have to keep going, we’ll just keep going. We announced it right in the middle of the economic downturn and our community is really stepping up to the bar.”

Concrete work is about 80 per cent complete on the new ER building beside NRGH, said Jim Morris, senior project manager with the Vancouver Island Health Authority.

Now that the basement floor, walls and the main floor – a suspended slab of concrete – are complete, workers are backfilling around the building, and putting in structural steel for the main floor walls, he said.

“You can see lots of steel already erected,” said Morris. “It’s coming together really well.”