January 15, 2019 by David Kennedy
CALGARY—With four cranes overhead and 300 workers on-site, the largest infrastructure project in Alberta has begun taking shape.
PCL Constructors Inc., which is overseeing the build, remains on time and on budget, according to the province’s Infrastructure ministry.
Work began on the $1.4 billion Calgary Cancer Centre in late 2017 and has focused so far on below-grade activities. Since breaking ground, crews have removed 450,000 square metres of material for the building’s foundation and its five underground levels. Eventually, the new hospital will stand 13 stories above grade and include approximately 127,000 square feet of floor space.
Alberta Premier Rachel Notley and Infrastructure Minister Sandra Jansen toured the site at the Foothills Medical Centre in Calgary Jan. 14, noting the project is expected to create 1,500 jobs over its six-year construction period.
Crews have poured 37,000 cubic metres of concrete so far — about 30 per cent of the total required. Construction on the underground parking levels is expected to continue through 2019 before work begins above ground. The development of the hospital’s radiation therapy department is also expected this year. Workers will need to install 12 steel and concrete vaults, which are designed to shield patients and staff from unwanted radiation exposure. Plans call for walls 1.8-metres thick and more than 10,000 cubic metres of concrete.
So far, the on-schedule Calgary job stands in contrast to another hospital build in Grande Prairie, Alta. that has faced budget and timeline issues. The former contractor for the project, Graham Construction, blamed the province for poor planning and numerous scope changes, while Alberta Infrastructure pointed the finger at the contractor. Clark Builders took over the $763 million project in November.
In Calgary, the new facility is expected to be the largest standalone cancer centre in the country once work wraps up in 2022.