Construction of new Foothills Hospital parkade a challenge for patients, staff

The parkade at Foothills Hospital continues to be under construction, which is creating challenges for patients and staff.

The Calgary hospital’s parkade project has been under way since September, 2016, at a cost of $60 million. As a result, staff have been required to park offsite and take shuttle buses to the health campus each day.

Patients and their families, meanwhile, have been directed to the small  parkade beneath the South Tower building, which is tight and hard to get to from the main hospital.

“Not only is it becoming a nuisance, it has also limited our staff’s parking space,” said Baiazid Galeeb, a parking associate for the hospital.

Galeeb started the position this past September and has been parking at the U of C hospital campus with a five-minute walk and a shuttle bus ride to get to work on time.

The construction has limited his commute to work but Galeeb also said that it limits patients coming into the hospital as well.

“Although it doesn’t hurt emergency patients, families who want to visit loved ones who are patients in the hospital have this complicated route when visiting hours are already so limited,” said Galeeb.

“We have hundreds of employees and parking for all of them has been pushed to every hospital in Calgary, causing our commute to be longer and making it quite difficult when we experience weather that drops to -40 degrees.”

Galeeb is also a victim of Kennedy’s Disease, a motor neuron condition that is inherited and only affects males.

The disease limits Galeeb from being able to walk as well as he used to, making the longer commute a hassle for his 6 a.m. shifts, nearly seven days a week.

The Calgary Herald reported in April 2017, that construction of a new multi-level parkade on the site of the old parking lot would take “at least two years” to complete.

That means it could be next year before the project is finished.

Vijay Gupta, another parking lot associate said that the construction will be “well worth” the wait.

“With the new cancer centre also being constructed, I think it’s great that they’re building a brand new parkade for all the staff and patients,” said Gupta.

“There will be at least 900 more parking spaces for everyone, added to the 2,000 that already exist.”

Vijay Gupta poses in the office of parking lot 7 at Foothills Hospital on Jan. 20, 2018. Construction of a new parkade at the hospital has lengthened his commute to work every day. (Photo by Anika Khan/The Press)
About Anika Khan 2 Articles
As a writing and communications major in the journalism program at SAIT, Anika Khan worked as a reporter for The Press during the 2017-18 academic year.