Health Minister Chris d’Entremont says he had no idea renovations to the IWK Health Centre are $10 million over budget.
“When our staff was asking, ‘How’s the project going?’, we were getting back, ‘You know, everything is fine,’” he said. “It wasn’t until sort of the 10th hour that we really knew there was a problem there.”
A recent report found the $48-million project ran over budget due to the rising cost of building materials and last-minute changes to plans without consideration of the budget.
“We should’ve done a better job at figuring out those costs as we went along, probably instead of waiting until closer to the end and saying, ‘Hey, we’re not going to have enough money to finish,’” IWK CEO Anne McGuire said.
The health department and IWK Health Foundation are paying an extra $9 million to help cover the deficit, and the rest will be made up through scaling back on renovating non-clinical spaces, such as teaching and office areas, McGuire said.
A project manager has since been hired at a cost of $130,000, included in the $9 million.
The project, which began six years ago, is on schedule to be complete by 2010, McGuire said.