Grey Bruce Health Services has applied for a building permit for the new hospital in Markdale.
"That's pretty exciting news," says Mayor Paul McQueen who says the building permit application to the town was submitted online recently, adding "The community has been waiting for a long time."
Grey Bruce Health Services President and CEO Gary Sims says they're in phase 4.1 of the process, "It's the biggest piece that needs final approval," says Sims explaining it's a review of the final drawings and details of the project. Once that's approved, Sims says phase 4.2 is another review by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care.
"Now we're just finalizing putting ourselves in for the building permits, working with the town and the county for finalization of all the details in relation to getting that application into place," says Sims.
He estimates part 4.1 will be sent to the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care by December 20th where it will be reviewed for three or four months.
"There's a lot of people working very hard to wrap this up and get it through the final stages of approval, but even with all of that we've got a lot of work ahead of us and still quite considerable time," says Sims.
The province has agreed to fund 90 per cent of the build with the community paying the remaining 10 per cent.
Mayor Paul McQueen says in the early 2000s, the community raised over $11 million in a little over a year for the hospital. He notes approval for the hospital was announced in 2014.
Meanwhile, Gary Sims estimates the hospital build will cost around $65 million before furniture is added. He says best estimates put a shovel in the ground in the fall of 2020.
It will replace the existing Centre Grey Hospital.
Sims says, "We're excited because we know these last two stages are the final stages before we go to RFP," (requests for proposals).
He describes its design as a modern hospital with a 24/7 ER, four patient rooms, palliative care room, physiotherapy, procedure rooms for endoscopy, diagnostic imaging, x-ray and ultrasound, ambulatory care, a laboratory, and what Sims describes as, "A beautiful waiting area which is all glassed, it's quite phenomenal to look at, and an open cafe in the same place."