Saskatchewan children’s hospital ready to rise from the ground

Officials expect the Children's Hospital of Saskatchewan to begin to rise from the ground in the coming months as construction remains on schedule. Devin Sauer / Global News

SASKATOON – The Children’s Hospital of Saskatchewan is on schedule and more than ten per cent of construction is complete thanks to a warm winter, officials said Thursday.

“Crews have been working to complete the site works, the concrete structure is starting to come up, we’ve completed the basement floor, nearing completion on the ground floor,” said Craig Ayres, the Saskatoon Health Region project director for the hospital.

“The favourable weather over the winter has allowed us to remain on track.”

Crews have started building the main floor of the hospital and are expected to start of the second floor in the coming months, according to Ayres. Construction on the $285.2 million project is scheduled to finish in early 2019 and is slated to open later that year.

“What we’re doing is we’re monitoring in three month look-ahead’s, so we’re keeping track of the key milestones within that three month look-ahead schedule,” said Ayres.

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“We’re comfortable with where we’re currently at.”

READ MORE: Construction kicks off on phase 2 of Children’s Hospital of Sask.

Ayres said since construction will take place over three winters, it was important to stay on track in the early stages when most of the work is done outdoors.

“Once the envelope of the building gets filled in through this year and into the final winter, we’ll be working inside the building so weather is not as much of a factor,” he said.

While construction on the structure continues, officials are working behind the scenes to set staffing plans and service delivery models for the future facility, according to Jackie Mann, the vice-president of integrated health services for the Saskatoon Health Region.

“We aren’t just picking up and moving into this facility, we’re completely changing how we deliver care and service,” said Mann.

“Constructing and building is one thing, it’s how we’re going to work to make the patient and family experience completely different and improved from what it is today.”

The hospital will receive help to reach that goal through funding from the Children’s Hospital Foundation of Saskatchewan, according to officials. The group’s president and CEO said it has raised $50 million towards its goal of $75 million to go towards the facility,

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“We’re looking forward to meeting or exceeding that goal to ensure that all the furnishing, the fixtures, the equipment, the research that goes within the walls within this incredible hospital will be second to none,” said Brynn Boback-Lane, the foundation’s president and CEO.

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