An effort to find a contractor to demolish the old H.H. Williams Memorial Hospital in Hay River failed to attract any bidders last month. Consequently, a new request for proposals has been issued.

James Ross, media spokesperson for the GNWT Department of Infrastructure, told the Hub in January that demolition initially had been scheduled in summer 2021 but was delayed until this spring.

A detailed schedule won’t be released to the public until “the tender closes and the bids have been evaluated.” A cleaned up hospital site is to be delivered by November 2022, according to the GNWT’s terms.

A 24-bed long-term care facility is expected to be constructed on the property. The 3,800-square-metre building will be linked to the recent Woodland Manor addition to create a combined facility.

On Feb. 21, Ross said the project had to be advertised again for a contractor. Bidders have until March 28 to submit proposals.

“Procurement was cancelled as it was necessary to convert from a request for tender to a request for proposals to allow for greater flexibility by proponents in establishing recycling and waste diversion strategies and to allow the GNWT to evaluate responses by further criteria than only the lowest cost,” he said.

Ross said the department isn’t too worried about further delays of the demolition project.

“There is minimal concern with the adjusted schedule as further site development is not expected to take place until summer 2023, at the earliest,” he said. “The change in procurement approach will result in an extension to proposed demolition completion from Sept. 30, 2022 to Nov. 30, 2022.”

Glenn Smith, senior administrative officer for the Town of Hay River, has said in recent council meetings that the municipality has had concerns, after reviewing the GNWT’s demolition permit, about the volume and type of waste that will be sent to the landfill during demolition.

In meetings with the Department of Infrastructure, it was agreed that the town would provide some regulations on the types of material and how materials diverted to the landfill would be handled.

The municipality will require a waste material plan before demolition to get an understanding of how pollution will be prevented and waste reduced.

“Given the near end-of-life status of the solid waste facility combined with the lack of support to date from the GNWT in assisting the town with financing and land access for a new facility, the town is being diligent in scrutinizing material the GNWT is looking to dispose,” Smith said.

Part of the project will also require the successful bidder to fill out a construction waste management report, which would provide detailed information on the total waste produced and types and quantity of waste materials.

The cost of the demolition project is not being disclosed at this time, according to the Department of Infrastructure.

“The GNWT has elected not to disclose the budget for this project as there is a pending procurement, where disclosure could affect competitive bidding,” Ross said.

The department was also asked to reveal the type of materials it expects to be disposed of, however Ross said that information will be provided in conjunction with the successful contractor.

Simon Whitehouse

Simon Whitehouse came to Yellowknife to work with Northern News Services in 2011. Simon obtained his journalism education at Algonquin College and the University of Ottawa. Simon can be reached at...

Leave a comment

Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published.