DAWSON CREEK, B.C. – Residents in Dawson Creek and surrounding areas are one step closer to a new hospital.

Adrian Dix, Minister of Health, and Northern Health announced Thursday that a preferred proponent has been selected to being the design phase of the hospital.

“The selection of the team that will design the new hospital means another important milestone has been reached for people in the region,” said Dix in a statement.

“The new and bigger facility will deliver public health-care services to people in the South Peace for decades to come.”

Northern Health and Infrastructure BC ended up selecting Clark Builders-Turner-HDR Architecture after an evaluation process.

The next step for the hospital is for Clark Builders-Turner-HDR Architecture to submit the design and cost proposal to Northern Health.  This is likely to take place in 2022 with construction to begin shortly after, with the hospital ready for patients by 2026.

The three companies shortlisted for the Design Early Works Agreement (DEWA) were Clark Builders-Turner-HDR Architecture, SBW-Kinetic-Wright Construction with KRA and Gibbs Gage Architects, and Graham Design Builders and Diamon Schmitt Architects Inc.

The new hospital will be around 19,400 square meters, or 209,000 square feet, and will have 70 beds, with a bigger emergency department.

The budget is $377.86 million and is shared with the provincial government, Northern Health, and the Peace River Regional Hospital District.