It’s been more than three years since the sod-turning event at the Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital.
On Friday, it was announced the construction of the hospital is 70 per cent complete.
Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall, as well as media, toured the facility on Friday. Wall spoke to reporters after the tour and said the project is on time and on budget, with a total project cost of $285.2 million.
“For me, the most important thing is when you’re here, especially on the top floor, you can see the finished work is coming along and you start to visualize exactly what this province will have built for itself and for its kids,” Wall said.
The entire building is in its final shape, as all the levels of the hospitals, including the helipad, are structurally complete.
“Our philosophy in this hospital is going to be to deliver the best care we can, closest to home,” said Dr. Laurentiu Givelichian, the unified head of pediatrics for Saskatoon Health Region and the University of Saskatchewan.
“For the family, not to have the burden to travel anywhere else in Canada or outside Canada and to stay here in Saskatchewan, in Saskatoon.”
More than 350 workers are on the job site each day, aiming to finish the construction phase by the spring of 2019.
“Today, we learned about 95 per cent of the people working here are from Saskatchewan,” Wall said. “That’s huge. Obviously, in a project of this size, it’s good when it also puts Saskatchewan people to work.”
After construction is complete, the 176-bed facility featuring all private rooms is scheduled to open its doors late 2019.
The health region currently has secured 60 physicians for the children’s hospital.
“I think we’re on track in terms of recruitment, that’s already, that work started already, recruiting the specialists and the staff that we’re going to need,” Wall said.
“In a year from today, we hope to have in place all the resources necessary to have it open, so we are trying to have everything in place a year, or six months, the latest prior to opening this hospital,” Givelichian said. “Everything will be ready before.”