Shuswap Healing Center: Conceptual Design Revealed for Future Sicamous Building

The District of Sicamous has unveiled a preliminary exterior design for the community’s future Shuswap Healing Center.

According to the district, the design was conceived through a visioning process facilitated by Douglas Cardinal, a world-renowned Indigenous architect, working alongside Scott Builders Inc.

“Reflecting the Monashee Mountains and scenic waters of the Shuswap region, the design is intended to complement the natural surroundings of Sicamous,” reads a July 29 press release.

“The design renderings demonstrate the orientation of the 15,000 square foot building, its form and character, and the building’s relationship to the natural environment.”

The healing center will house the Sicamous Community Health Center and will also include other health services, a shared community space, a traditional Aboriginal healing center and two accommodation units for visiting health professionals.

The district noted that an important consideration in the design is the preservation of existing green space, with over half an acre maintained.

The district said residents will have the opportunity to provide input on the green space design at an open house later this year.

“Council has listened to residents’ desire to maintain downtown green spaces,” said Sicamous Mayor Terry Rysz. “The design ensures that over half an acre will not only be preserved, but enhanced for the enjoyment of our community.

“The Shuswap Healing Center will provide generations of families with access to modernized primary care and wellness services.

The district said a health needs assessment was completed last fall through engagement with Splatsin, community groups and health and wellness professionals.

“Healthcare consultant Dr. Avein Saaty-Tafoya continues to work with the Sicamous Community Health Center Manager, community stakeholders and Splatsin representatives to finalize programming.”

The current cost of the project is estimated at $7.9 million, of which $6 million will be funded by grants received through the Rural and Northern Communities Fund of the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program. Other funding will come from the district’s capital reserves.

“Additional funding for the equipment is being sought through the Shuswap Hospital Foundation and the district will use the Canada-Community Building Fund for Green Space Improvements,” a district news release said.

Council is expected to receive a planning permit application this fall. To date, topographical, geotechnical and archaeological surveys have been completed at the project site, with an environmental assessment scheduled for September. Construction is expected to begin in April 2023 and be completed in March 2024.
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Abdul J. Gaspar