A complete makeover of the Canadian Blood Services blood donor clinic in Red Deer is underway with no interruptions anticipated.
Agency officials had set money aside and were looking for more space to relieve Red Deer staff and donors from a site that had become uncomfortably cramped, said Leanne Pattullo, assistant manager of clinic services.
They leaped at the opportunity when the bay next door became available last summer, she said.
A deal was struck and work begun in earnest on refitting the new bay, which has now been completed and put into full operation while renovations are performed on the original space.
Once the original bay is finished, all operations will be moved temporarily to the Golden Circle in downtown Red Deer so the wall between can be taken out and the two sides merged, said Pattullo.
Clinic hours will remain unchanged, but facilities will be set up in the Golden Circle for the two weeks, starting Jan. 3, with the doors to open at the renovated site on Jan. 16.
The expansion and renovation is the first on a new theme that Canadian Blood Services has developed for its clinics and will set the stage for the rest, said Pattullo.
While there will be no new staff joining the clinic, expanded space will relieve cramping and make it easier to protect donor privacy and confidentiality, she said. Costs of the work have been estimated at about $420,000.
Pattullo said she is grateful for the patience and understanding shown by donors who have been putting up with dust and noise since the renovation started.
The Red Deer clinic, located west of Arby’s at 5020 68th St., sees up to 50 donors per day, she said.
Clinic hours are 1 to 7 p.m. on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays and 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.
Drop-ins are accepted, but Pattullo advises people to phone ahead and book an appointment to ensure that they won’t have a long wait.
Appointments can be booked by calling toll-free to 1-888-2-Donate (1-888-236-6283).