Expansion of the Red Deer Hospice is progressing, and the $5.2-million project is expected to be completed by the end of October.
Workers are on site finishing up the exterior ground work, and interior walls are in place for the 15,000-square-foot addition to the existing 10,000-square-foot facility.
“The Gyprock is flying up,” said hospice board member Toby Lampard, who is also chair of construction.
Expansion started last September and will add six private rooms for palliative residents. The hospice opened its doors about 13 years ago with 10 rooms.
The additional rooms will allow 100 more residents to access the hospice each year.
Lampard said expansion will also create more gathering spaces for respite care, day programs, educational opportunities and families, as well as more space for administration offices and storage.
“We’re putting an elevator in so we can take all the equipment upstairs and down.”
The kitchen, medication room and nursing station will also be enlarged.
“We’ve moved the medication room and the nurses’ station into the long-term area. Now we’re working to get the area ready for the kitchen, and that’s suppose to move within a couple of weeks,” Lampard said.
During construction, the facility is continuing to operate with minimal disruption.
The Red Deer Hospice is one of only three stand-alone hospices in Alberta. Located in Anders, the facility blends seamlessly into the neighbourhood.
“It’s funny. People that come by, they think it’s a library or a community centre,” said expansion campaign co-ordinator Val Hilario.
She said construction is being funded by community donations and grants. So far, more than $2 million has been raised and every penny is appreciated.
“We’ve had the big cheques and the big donors, and we love those, and yes, we need more of those. But we also need the child who comes through the door with $25 from their lemonade stand,” Hilario said.
Donations can be made online at www.reddeerhospice.com, where construction updates can also be found.