A new building is to be constructed in downtown Hay River.
The one-storey structure will be located at the corner of Capital Drive and Lepine Street, and will provide a new home for about 30 employees of the GNWT still working at the old H.H. Williams Memorial Hospital.
They include employees of Public Health, Social Services, Homecare and the Environmental Health.
The building is to be erected by the new Metway Joint Venture of the Hay River Metis Government Council (HRMGC) and Greenway Holdings Ltd.
The two partners in the joint venture announced their plans to construct the building in a Sept. 26 news release.
“Metway is proud to make this significant investment in the Town of Hay River,” the news release stated. “This project will provide for many short and long-term benefits: training and development opportunities for HRMGC members and capacity-building through the joint venture; economic spin-offs for the community by utilizing local suppliers, trades and employment during construction; and long-term economic benefits.”
Metway has been awarded a long-term lease from the GNWT’s Department of Infrastructure for the purpose-built office and program space building.
The designer/builder will be Arctic Canada Construction Ltd., also known as Arcan, which recently completed an expansion of the Woodland Manor long-term care facility in a joint venture with the HRMGC.
Project financing is being provided by the First Nations Bank of Canada – a chartered bank primarily focused on providing financial services to the Indigenous marketplace in Canada.
Jane Groenewegen, who owns Greenway Holdings Ltd. along with her husband, Rick Groenewegen, is pleased to be involved in the new project.
“We’re very excited about it. We’re very happy to do it,” she said. “We haven’t built a new building in Hay River since we built the Cambridge Building, which is about 25 years ago.”
She noted Greenway Holdings Ltd. owns land in downtown Hay River which has never been developed.
Groenewegen said she and her husband were asked if they would be interested in the joint venture.
“We have never done a joint venture of any kind before, and it made really good sense to us to approach a new building in this way because we did have the land and we do have resources to bring to a joint venture partnership,” she said.
The vacant land, which once featured a ball field, contains five commercial lots, Groenewegen said. “Of the vacant land that you see, this new development will take up half of that.”
She estimated the new project will be in the $5.5 million to $6 million range.
“It will either be starting this fall or in the spring. We’re not sure, yet,” she said. “It depends on a few technical issues related to the type of foundation that we’re going to put in.”
The building will not just be for office space, Groenewegen noted. “It’s a program and clinic space. It’s a fairly sophisticated construction because of the types of activities that will be going on in there.”
Metway, the name of the joint venture, is a combination of the words ‘Metis’ and ‘Greenway’.
The old H.H. Williams Memorial Hospital is being vacated by the GNWT. The land on which it stands is being targeted as the site of a new 48-bed long-term care facility.