Patients and visitors driving into Royal University Hospital will now see a glimpse of the Early Works parkade expansion, the first step to prepare the site for eventual construction of Children’s Hospital of Saskatchewan.

Saskatoon Regional Health Authority Board Chair Jim Rhode speaks to media at an event to mark the start of Early Works.

The Early Works project will complete required changes to the parking structures and site to pave the way for the Children’s Hospital footprint, through the addition of two levels to the 1984 parkade, and eventually removing a portion of the older 1971/1976 parkade.

“This is a very exciting day! Children’s Hospital of Saskatchewan is moving forward and this is the first physical step. For the foreseeable future, at least five years, staff, patients and visitors will see construction crews working towards the completion of the Children’s Hospital at RUH,” says Jim Rhode, Chair of the Saskatoon Regional Health Authority. “Young people and expecting mothers in the Region and the province will all benefit from the state-of-the-art care they will receive at this children’s and maternal facility.”

The primary objective of the Early Works package is to enable the construction of Children’s Hospital of Saskatchewan to begin on schedule.

Divided into four phases, the Early Works Package for the Children’s Hospital will take place over the next 20 months:

• Phase One will see a two level expansion to the existing 1984 parkade structure;
• Phase Two includes construction of a helix ramp which will interconnect all floors in the parking structures and serve as the new exit;
• Phase Three will reconfigure the existing entrance and exit locations to match the new parkade layout; and
• Phase Four will demolish approximately 60% of the existing 1971/76 parking structure to accommodate the footprint for the new Children’s Hospital building.

“Our government is pleased to see work get under way,” Health Minister Don McMorris said. “This project takes us one step closer to construction of the Children’s Hospital of Saskatchewan, which will enhance children’s and maternal medical care in our province.”