Thursday evening, an information session and open discussion was held at the Quality Inn Northern Grand, lead by project director Tom Sparrow of Northern Health.
On the exterior of the 40 acre site, the majority of the asphalt has been laid, providing 295 parking spots for visitors, with room for more if required. There is also a separate parking lot with 50 spots available for staff.
Access to the hospital was another issue discussed, with work being done to connect the access road with 86 St. and the East Bypass. Other off-site work being done also involves the completion of hydro and lighting within and around the facility. $12.9 million has been allocated for this portion of construction.
The facility will also have a water retention pond, a manmade pond used to collect and store excess water from the roof or from within the hospital.
Inside the hospital will include a 55 bed acute/ambulatory care hospital, a 123 bed residential care facility, as well as on location food and laundry services. The hospital will have two trauma resuscitation areas, with a third available if necessary, four intensive care rooms which can also convert into operating rooms, and 11 maternity rooms, which are secluded from the rest of the hospital.
Residential care rooms will also see a significant improvement, as every room will include a bathroom and shower, and rooms on the second floor will have their own balcony. First floor rooms will have access to an outdoor courtyard, and the facility will also have another outdoor courtyard for residents and visitors.
There will be separate entrances for Emergency response and the maternity wardentrance, as well as a general visitors entrance, which will have an overhang to protect residents and those being dropped off from poor weather conditions. There will also be a bus stop installed on 112 St., which will be in front of the facility, with a separate handy-transit system offering front door delivery.
Once inside, designers says visitors will find themselves in a very warm and welcoming lobby, complete with a fire place. Rooms within the facility are described as spacious, with wood and earthy tones and colors to promote a tranquil atmosphere.
Navigating through the facility is intended to be much easier, thanks to designers' "wayfinding" layout design, which promotes an easy way for people to find their designated area within the hospital.
One feature that won’t be included in the new hospital is a heli-pad on the roof, which raised concerns from some of the public. Instead, those needing to be transported by helicopter will have to land at the airport, then take the approximately 10 minute ambulance ride.
With the majority of the exterior work done, the next steps in the construction process are to complete the interior work, install all the necessary equipment, and complete the residential care building. The hospital’s boilers have recently been activated, and are currently heating the facility.
The transportation of patients is set to begin in 2012, and the community will be updated on further progress.
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