Crews prepare for building main floor of hospital
Saskatoon – Construction crews have started building the main floor of the Children's Hospital of Saskatchewan (CHS), and it is expected that by early summer the maternal and children's hospital will start reaching up into Saskatoon's skyline.
It's exciting to see the steady progress of construction as the Children's Hospital of Saskatchewan takes shape," Health Minister Dustin Duncan says. "I thank the Children's Hospital Foundation of Saskatchewan and the Saskatoon Health Region for their leadership and ongoing commitment to a project that is so important for Saskatchewan families."
"Construction activities have been underway for seven months as of the end of March, and the project is now over 10 per cent complete. You can already see the basement and ground floor of the new hospital," explains Craig Ayers, Saskatoon Health Region's project director for the Children's Hospital of Saskatchewan. "This week, preparations are being finalized to start building the main floor which involves pouring concrete into pre-built forms. Like so many aspects of this hospital construction, how we are raising this facility into the skyline is unique and complex."
Concrete for the new hospital is being pumped from the back of the parkade through a special pressurized pipe into the building site and then poured out through an enormous boom. Two vertical booms are on site and will remain in place until the main building concrete structure is completed.
"It's like completing a complex puzzle to construct the structure for the new hospital. We aren't building across the facility one floor at a time; the contractor is building multiple floors in multiple phases. You will see them building the main floor, but before they have completed the main floor they will start building the second floor," says Ayers. "There are about 10 zones on each floor where construction activities are scheduled based on the concrete-forming system being utilized and the sequencing of construction materials delivery and resources. At the same time, we continue to complete the needed infrastructure connections into Royal University Hospital. We are also starting work to prepare for CHS building connections into RUH. One is in the basement for support services to transport goods and supplies. Another is on the ground floor to provide emergency with a direct connection to the RUH adult operating theatres on the ground floor and the last will be on the second floor of CHS to allow private transport of patients who may require more complex imaging using the MRI and CT scan."
The site has changed dramatically over the past number of months. After the two cranes were erected in early November, a temporary steel structure for overhead protection was built on the top deck of the parkade in order to allow the contractor to move materials more easily into the site. As well, the piling contractor returned to the site to complete the remaining 61 piles required for the hospital that could only be installed once the construction zone for the main building was expanded. This piling work will be completed by the end of April.
Crews can now be seen walking on the ground floor of the new hospital, which will be home to new emergency departments for both adult and children, who will share a trauma zone. This floor will also include Saskatchewan's first dedicated children's surgery unit. As the building takes shape, Saskatoon Health Region is also focusing on preparing for opening day. This includes getting staffing plans, models of care and service delivery ready for the new facility.
"I feel so proud of all of the work that has gone into getting us to where we are today, with our new hospital really starting to quickly take shape," says Jackie Mann, Vice President of Integrated Health Services for Saskatoon Health Region and Executive Sponsor for the Children's Hospital of Saskatchewan. "Many people are working very hard to prepare for how we will deliver care and service in this new facility. I am so appreciative of the patients, families, staff, physicians and leaders for all that has been done so far. We are fortunate to work so closely with key partners, including Ministry of Health, Children's Hospital Foundation of Saskatchewan and University of Saskatchewan."
The main funder of the new hospital is the Province of Saskatchewan, who will be providing $235.5 million for the $285.2 million project. In addition, a major contribution is coming from the Children's Hospital Foundation of Saskatchewan through an additional $25 million campaign commitment above its initial commitment of $50 million for state-of-the-art equipment, furnishings and family-centred enhancements.
"We are delighted with the significant construction progress on our province's new maternal and children's hospital," says Brynn Boback-Lane, President and CEO of the Children's Hospital Foundation of Saskatchewan. "As construction moves ahead, fundraising does as well. The Children's Hospital Foundation of Saskatchewan is two-thirds of the way to our goal of $75 million. We encourage Saskatchewan people to continue to come forward in generosity to leave a lasting legacy for generations of children and families to come. Together with the Government of Saskatchewan and Saskatoon Health Region, we are building not just a hospital but hope as well."
Over the next few months, the main floor will be built, along with the portions of the second floor. Construction crews will also begin to take over a portion of the top deck of the parkade to begin building the overhang for the new hospital, which will include the main entrance.
"We appreciate the patience of everyone who comes onto this site while construction is going on," says Ayers. "We have had to move roads and some of the construction has meant closing stalls temporarily in the parkade. We ask for the continued patience of the public and those coming to the site. We thank everyone for coping with the inconveniences of today to help us build a beautiful hospital for the future."
Children's Hospital of Saskatchewan construction will be nearing completion in early 2019, with opening day scheduled for later 2019.
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