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Riverview closing continues with site testing
The closing down of Riverview Hospital continues but, now, that involves more than just locking the doors on a newly emptied building.
Environmental consultants are on the hospital grounds to survey for potential contamination and to develop a site remediation plan.
"It's a normal part of the decommissioning process," said David Weir, spokesperson for the Provincial Health Services Association.
Crews will be drilling in up to 40 locations throughout Riverview's 244 acres and the work is expected to take about a month.
Norma Gillespie of the Riverview Horticultural Centre Society is troubled that workers may be digging up the ground and disturbing the sensitive underpinnings of Riverview's famed arboretum.
"I'm worried about the tree roots and whether this group... will respect the trees on site or whether they even know the roots are down there," she said.
Gillespie also lamented the ongoing winding of services at Riverview at a time when more assistance is needed.
Late last year, Valleyview, the 300-plus bed facility that housed geriatric psychiatry patients for about 50 years, was shut down and an innovative program that treats formerly homeless people with concurrent disorders is expected to shut down this spring as Riverview closes for good in June.