When parent Tara Johnson first sat down with staff, doctors and architects last May to begin designing the details for the new maternal and children’s hospital, she had a long list of wants.

“I was so happy to see that everything I had dreamed of, and more, was already included in the early design of the hospital,” says Johnson. “I was also so honoured that the design team took my suggestions to heart as we dived into the details. I will never forget one discussion about nursing stations and I mentioned maybe parents would like a clear line of sight to the nursing station. That idea became part of the plan.”

Her input, along with the ideas from hundreds of children, teenagers and families across Saskatchewan, have influenced the detailed design for the new hospital. That design work was approved in April.

The detailed design builds on the early plans approved in July 2012. The details show things like how patient rooms and family areas will be set up.

The project team has consulted with staff, physicians and families. Teams closely examined the layout of each room in the building to determine everything from location of gases and clinical equipment to family space within the room. Teams of families also worked on the layout of the lobby and the numerous dedicated family spaces throughout the hospital.

To ensure the hospital truly reflects the needs and wants of Saskatchewan, the project team gathered input from children, teenagers and families through classroom-based and mail-in design activities, community design sessions, on-line surveys and an open house. Design ideas were also gathered from pediatric patients at Royal University Hospital and newcomers.

“This input helped shape the interior and exterior design,” says Jackie Mann, Saskatoon Health Region’s VP Integrated Health Services and executive sponsor of Children’s Hospital of Saskatchewan. “We learned that people want to feel some of ‘home’ in the building. They want natural light with bright colours and patterns, but they want more. They placed high importance on the quality of care patients and families receive, the respect they are shown and the ability to include families as part of the care team that will truly make this hospital exceptional.”

The new facility will sit on University of Saskatchewan land and will border the river valley. The project has received approval from the Meewasin Valley Authority and is awaiting review by the University of Saskatchewan Board of Governors.

In the next several months, the plans will get the final mechanical, electrical and structural details added and will give contractors the information they need to build the hospital. And the interior colours and textures will be added to create the final image of the new hospital.

Hospital construction is scheduled to start in early 2014 with completion in late 2016.