The Alberta government announced Friday that construction of the new Grande Prairie Regional Hospital is now complete, with Premier Jason Kenney calling the milestone “a significant one for the people of Grande Prairie who have been waiting for years for this facility.”
“The completion of construction means that AHS can get to work getting the hospital ready to serve the community,” the premier said in a news release.
“Once operational, this new hospital will ensure that Albertans across our province continue to have access to world-class health care.”
Once AHS takes possession of the building, the government said the health authority will need time to clean, commission and train staff before opening but it hopes that process will be done by the end of summer in 2021.
“Timelines for commissioning activities could be impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic,” the government said.
Health Minister Tyler Shandro said that while there is “still a lot of hard work ahead for AHS to commission the hospital,” he is “looking forward to celebrating the grand opening with the people of Grande Prairie next year.”
The government said the 63,272-square-metre hospital cost $850.3 million and will feature 240 patient beds once it is operational. It will also have what the government described as a “state-of-the-art cancer centre” that includes two new radiation treatment areas.
“When we hand over the hospital to Alberta Health Services on July 1, we will have completed construction of the newest and most technologically advanced hospital in Alberta,” Infrastructure Minister Prasad Panda said.
“Needed public infrastructure projects like this are an integral part of Alberta’s economic recovery and keeping Albertans working.”
The hospital will feature a health-care training facility in partnership with Grande Prairie Regional College.
“We are proud the new hospital will provide a wide range of health-care services in a modern setting with the latest technology,” said Dr. Verna Yiu, president and CEO of AHS.
“We know that once it opens next year, this facility will immediately become an important fixture in the community and surrounding area, and we are excited to be part of that.”
The hospital, which took longer to build than expected and also experienced cost-overruns, saw the previous NDP government be at odds with a construction company involved in the project because of timeline and costs.
Watch below: Global News videos coverage of the construction of a new hospital in Grande Prairie.