Alternate Health Facility Kingston 3

New Alternate Health Facility Opens in Kingston

Kingston’s new Alternate Health Facility is a temporary facility to help Kingston Health Sciences Centre support a COVID-19 hospital surge. The project included a full renovation, new equipment and technology, and the creation of a team able to mobilize as needed to support front-line staff.


Infrastructure Ontario/ Kingston Health Sciences Centre (KHSC)


Kingston, ON

70-Bed Union Street Site

Kingston Health Sciences Centre (KHSC) is an academic hospital that specializes in complex, acute and specialty care. Serving more than 500,000 patients annually, KHSC has two main campuses: Hotel Dieu Hospital and Kingston General Hospital, which includes the Cancer Centre of Southeastern Ontario. KHSC also houses a research institute.

KHSC’s new Union Street site was completed in early 2021. It is a fully renovated 24,500 sq. ft. Alternate Health Facility built to help alleviate a COVID-19 patient surge at its main hospital sites. As such, during new waves of COVID-19, the 70-bed Union Street site is available to provide additional patient care for non-COVID patients.

Equipped for acute medicine patients, the Union Street site offers the same quality of care as KHSC’s main hospitals. The building’s north and south pods each include patient bays, nursing stations, and medical and procedure rooms fully stocked with supplies, equipment and technology. Medical and support teams are also prepared to rapidly mobilize as needed to staff the new site.

Drawing on similar experience

Engaged by Infrastructure Ontario and KHSC to deliver project management and furniture, fixtures and equipment (FF&E) services, our team saw the renovation of the Union Street site from inception through to closeout.

Our team applied lessons learned and relevant experience from previous projects to help guide this project. Unlike the other sites, however, the Union Street site involved upgrading a decommissioned health care facility to suit modern medical needs.

Our team worked alongside the stakeholders, consultants and contractors to refresh and reconfigure the facility to align with KHSC’s intended use. It was quickly determined that the electrical system and sanitary lines needed to be replaced, for example, to bring the facility’s services up to code. Unforeseen site conditions such as this posed a risk to the overall delivery of the project.

To ensure KHSC could meet its deadline for substantial completion, our Construction Solutions team led a full planning session to help define the project schedule and offer suggestions on how to reasonably achieve the project’s objectives. This planning session helped give the entire project team perspective on the schedule and remaining work required. To meet KHSC’s deadline, contractors planned to work two 10-hour shifts, seven days a week for a short period of time to ensure construction could be fast-tracked to realign with KHSC’s delivery date and potential COVID Wave Two demands.

Working within the confines of an existing space also created some logistical challenges. Bed layout limitations led the team to a decision to build new walls with the necessary electrical feeds rather than purchasing headwall partitions for each bed. This allowed KHSC to save space by feeding power through both sides of the wall, eliminating the need for prefabricated headwall panels.

With a renovation project of this size, our team had to be diligent to ensure a smooth flow of communication between all stakeholders and individual project teams. This project consisted of multiple moving parts, many of which overlapped during the design and construction phases. Providing exceptional organization, support and communication was particularly important to keep to the project timeline while also ensuring site safety amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Our team worked with the contract teams to establish and reinforce rigorous screening processes, such as daily temperature checks, trade schedules and limited site access.

Ready to take on patients

KHSC’s Union Street Site was officially unveiled on March 29, 2021. The temporary Alternate Health Facility is now ready to take on patients and provide additional hospital capacity when needed.

Alternate Health Facility Kingston 1
Alternate Health Facility Kingston 3