Boost for hospital expansion project

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February 12, 2015 9:00 AM

The Lloydminster Region Health Foundation (LRHF) received a welcome surprise on Feb. 10 when two local residents made a generous donation to the expansion of the Lloydminster Hospital. At a gathering that took place at Harvest to Home, Richard and Barb Klinger announced they would be putting $100,000 toward the project.

“It’s wonderful,” said Darrell Howell, board chair of LRHF.

“The only way this is going to get done within five years is with a lot of community support. So this is a great thing that Richard and Barb have done. It’s really going to get us started.”

Klinger feels all the development in Lloydminster over that last few years has caused the city to outgrow the hospital, making this a vital project that needs to be undertaken.

“We feel good about it, it’s something that’s needed and we think it’s good for the community,” Klinger said.

“It’s something everybody can use, it doesn’t matter who you are, you’re going to need the hospital. By doing this they can maybe attract more doctors and keep more doctors, so it’s something that we need for this area.”

The estimated cost of the expansion is in the ballpark of $200 million and Howell figures they will have to raise about $20 million of that cost within the community. He looks at the Klingers’ donation as a good start and a way to get the fundraising underway.

According to a bi-provincial report that was completed, the project will take five years to complete with the first two years dedicated to design and the last three to construction.

Though there is no set date for when the project will begin officially, it’s expected to get started in the near future.

“As a catalyst, these funds will be used by the foundation to encourage others to give and to begin the fundraiser campaign for a facility that we desperately need in our community,” said Howell.

Health ministers for Alberta and Saskatchewan signed a memorandum of understanding last July, accepting the bi-provincial report and its recommendations for health care in Lloydminster.

One of the recommendations was the construction of a new wing of the Lloydminster Hospital, which will greatly enhance the existing facility, which is in need of new space, repair and revitalization.

“We have a ways to go,” said Howell, “but this is a great start.”

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