Saskatoon – Construction crews took a first bite out of a portion of the Royal University Hospital parkade today as demolition began to prepare for Children's Hospital of Saskatchewan (CHS). The Health Region is tearing down the portion of the parkade where the new maternal and children's hospital will be built.
"This is an exciting milestone for the new hospital," says Jackie Mann, Saskatoon Health Region's VP Integrated Health Services and executive sponsor of Children's Hospital of Saskatchewan. "The project team has been working for several months to prepare the site for hospital construction. Today's demolition start brings us one step closer to putting shovels in the ground this September."
Approximately 14,000 square metres of the parkade will be demolished over the next two months, including the existing Cameco Skywalk. Just prior to demolition, the Health Region opened a new pedestrian entrance from the parkade into Royal University Hospital. This entrance replaces the Cameco Skywalk which is located in the area of the parkade being demolished. A second entrance for both RUH and CHS, which will be built with the hospital, will provide elevator access from all five levels of the parkade.
"Preparing the site for the construction of the new hospital has been a complex and multi-phased process and today marks the start of the last phase of this work," says Craig Ayers, Saskatoon Health Region's project director for Children's Hospital of Saskatchewan. "Along with building the new pedestrian entrance into RUH, we have made significant roadway changes to the site, created a new helix ramp for the parkade and built an access road through the University of Saskatchewan campus to bring in construction materials and equipment."
Public can see the activity occurring through Saskatoon Health Region's new CHS site construction camera at
www.saskatoonhealthregion.ca/chs. The camera will be in place until the new hospital is opened.
In addition, but unrelated to on-going CHS site preparation work, Saskatoon Health Region is moving forward to determine how to best repair sections within the parkade that were closed early this year for precautionary reasons.
"We would like to thank everyone arriving with vehicles at the RUH site for their patience and understanding," says Marcel Nobert, Saskatoon Health Region's director of facilities management. "We know the combination of CHS site preparation activity and assessment of unrelated parkade repairs has caused parking challenges for our patients and families, along with our staff and physicians. We are in the process of narrowing down options and costs for the repairs to parts of the RUH parkade and our senior leaders will be forming recommendations to take to the Saskatoon Regional Health Authority board in the coming weeks."
Parking Services has designated a level of the parkade that was previously only for staff to patient and visitor parking. This includes making stalls close to the new entrance and its elevators for those with low mobility, new or expecting parents, and Saskatoon Cancer Clinic patients.
The start of construction of the new hospital is currently scheduled for September 2014 with the hospital opening in 2017. Saskatoon Health Region would like to remind everyone arriving at the RUH site is a construction zone, to drive slowly and allow extra time to find parking.
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