Finding a parking spot is often one of the biggest complaints when visiting the Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre.
But the race for parking may soon be alleviated if the proposed $44-million, five-level parkade that will nearly double the existing parking spaces goes ahead.
In the first of several upcoming community information sessions, residents heard the overall plans at the South complex common area in the hospital on Wednesday.
Kerry Bales, chief zone officer with Alberta Health Services Central Zone, said the expansion will add 1,100 spaces to the existing 1,200 spots.
Most people who stopped by the open house expressed their support for the project.
“It’s fairly well known there is a great need for the extra parking here on site,” said Bales. “Anyone who has had to access services will attest to that.”
The multi-storey parking garage will be built on the on the north side of 39th Street, across from the hospital’s main entrance. It will be built on a foundation that will allow two additional levels in the future.
Bales said while AHS has approved the project, the hospital must still work with the community, and the city on any permits that are necessary to move the project ahead.
A development permit will be filed with the city’s Municipal Planning Commission sometime this spring.
Construction could get underway as early as this fall and take about 18 months to complete.
Without a doubt, there will be disruption and noise related to the construction. Bales said they will work with the surrounding community when they get to that stage.
For the most part, public and patient parking should not be impacted during the work.
Only about 10 public parking stalls will be lost during the construction.
The details around temporary parking arrangements for staff are still being sorted out.
The parking rates at the hospital are standardized across the province so there will not be an increase in rates due to construction.
Over the next few months and during the various permit phases of the project, AHS will hold additional public information sessions on the plans for development.
For more information, visit http://www.albertahealthservices.ca/9763.asp