As the province unveiled the blueprints for the long-awaited new Calgary cancer centre, cancer survivor Susan Cardinal sees hope in the design.
On Thursday, Premier Rachel Notley announced that PCL Construction Management had been awarded the contract to design and build the $1.4-billion facility that will be located at the Foothills Medical Centre.
Construction is set to begin this fall, with the facility to open by 2023.
Cardinal, whose husband, Mark Simpson, is also a cancer patient, said the curving lines and natural light of the planned new cancer centre are a welcome sight.
“What’s critical to both of us is the physical space gives us hope,” Cardinal told those gathered at the Foothills’ auditorium for the announcement.
“When you walk those halls and you wonder if treatment — which is chemotherapy, which is essentially poison — will work for you, you need a lot of hope.
“To me, this new centre just radiates hope.”
The new centre will be built on the northeast corner of the Foothills site and will have “uninterrupted views” for patients of either the Rocky Mountains or Calgary skyline.
Notley said she was proud that her NDP government had taken a concrete step forward in delivering a “beautiful, functional and world-class” facility for the city.
“This is more than a building. Cancer has the ability to make us feel powerless but there is something we can all do. We can bring a new state-of-the-art cancer centre here to Calgary,” she said.
Of the $1.4-billion price tag, PCL will receive $1.1 billion, with the remainder covering the costs of equipment. The company, along with EllisDon Construction Services, Inc., was one of two finalists shortlisted for the project.
Under the design-build contract, PCL will be responsible for any construction cost overruns.
The government has already budgeted $1.2 billion through 2020 for the project.
The 127,000-square-metre facility will significantly increase the capacity for cancer care for southern Alberta, with 12 radiation vaults, 160 in-patient beds, more than 100 patient exam rooms and more than 100 chemotherapy chairs.
The new hospital is also intended to bolster cancer research capabilities in the city in conjunction with the nearby University of Calgary.
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