By MEL ROTHENBURGER
Director, Electoral Area P, TNRD
The new Sun Peaks Health Centre is a popular place — 850 people are on a wait list hoping to become part of Dr. Shane Barclay’s family practice.
Mayor Al Raine told a crowd of 50 people at the official opening of the health centre Friday that there’s a misunderstanding that the facility is for Sun Peaks residents only.
That’s not the case, he said, noting the high number of people hoping to get Barclay as their GP. Four hundred and fifty have been accepted so far, and there’s room for 1250.
The health centre was built at a cost of more than $2 million. Sun Peaks resort municipality contributed $558,000, the TNRD $117,000 via federal gas tax funds towards geothermal heating, the Sun Peaks Health Association $600,000 and Sun Peaks Resort LLP $838,000. The provincial government gave $100,000 for equipment. There were also several major corporate donors.
But it wasn’t just the big donors that made it happen, said John Hatchett, former president of the Sun Peaks Health Association. He paid tribute to the many small donations by residents, and the years of fundraising and determination that got the job done.
Senator Nancy Greene Raine, herself much involved in the fundraising, also praised the efforts of the community.
Following a ribbon cutting ceremony, the crowd moved inside for the unveiling of donor plaques and tours of the family practice area and ski patrol triage area. The 10,000 sq. ft. building has two levels.
“It’s one thing to have a dream but it’s another thing to have the community stepping up,” said the mayor. “I almost had a tear in my eye a few times” when major donors stepped forward, he said.
Darcy Alexander, vice president and general manager of Sun Peaks Resort, said the community should be very proud of themselves.
“The whole community had to buy in before this was possible,” he said. “It’s a community thing and it’s just another sign of how our community is growing and getting better every day.”