A five-level parkade with 1,100 parking spaces planned for Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre will almost double the number of parking stalls at the hospital.
Currently, 1,200 parking stalls exist at the hospital, including staff, outdoor and underground parking.
Kerry Bales, chief zone officer with Alberta Health Services Central Zone, said people are always looking for parking at the hospital.
“There’s quite a significant need for the spaces. We’ve heard this from patients, visitors, physicians, staff,” Bales said on Thursday.
There are about 750 staff parking spaces at the hospital, including outdoor and underground, and 700 staff are on a wait list for on-site parking.
The estimated $44-million parkade, with elevators, will be built where outdoor staff parking exists on the north side of 39th Street, across from the hospital’s main entrance. Only about 10 outdoor public parking spaces would be eliminated.
“For the most part, public and patient parking shouldn’t be impacted during construction.”
AHS will develop, own and operate the parkade that will be available to patients, visitors and staff. Construction is anticipated to begin in the fall and take about 18 months to complete.
“It is going to be constructed from a foundation perspective, to be able to do an additional two levels if needed or when needed in the future.”
AHS will be taking out a loan to pay for the parkade.
“The loan is financed by the parking fees so there’s no patient care dollars being put towards this project,” Bales said.
As some of the staff parking will be displaced by the parkade, alternate parking will be made available to affected staff during construction.
“We know we’re going to have to have temporary parking for staff. We’re kind of looking at what our options might be. There’s definitely no extra parking capacity on site. We’re going to have to find something off site, obviously as close a possible.”
AHS is holding a public open house to share information about the parkade project on Wednesday. The drop-in event will run from 5 to 8 p.m. in the hospital’s South Complex common area, near the main doors.
AHS must still apply for a city development permit for the project so it has not yet gone before Red Deer’s municipal planning commission for approval.
For more information on the project visit — http://www.albertahealthservices.ca/9763.asp