Designs for the new hospital being built in Yellowknife were unveiled by the Government of the Northwest Territories today.

Construction of the new building, which sits just beside the current Stanton Territorial Hospital, began in October 2015 and is expected to cost $350 million. The new hospital is expected to be fully operational in 2019 and will cost the territorial government $18 million annually to run.

Members of the public can check out the designs for themselves tonight at an open house from 6-9 p.m. at the Centre Ice Plaza at 480 Range Lake Rd.

Here are five things to expect in the new hospital. 

1) New birthing suites

The new building will include three large birthing suites that will be equipped with birthing tubs, giving expectant mothers another birthing option not available in the current hospital. 

2) Changes to the psychiatric ward

The new psychiatric ward will be on the third floor of the new hospital. It will have 21 single-occupancy rooms for patients. That's double the number in the current hospital. The psychiatric ward will also have its own outdoor patio.

New Stanton Territorial Hospital aurora lights

LED lights on the side of the new building will light up at night to mimic the aurora. (GNWT)

3) MRI machine room

Included in the design of the new hospital is a room that can accommodate an MRI machine. That does not mean the new building will actually have an MRI machine when it opens. The territorial government did a cost-benefit analysis in 2012 and decided it was cheaper to send patients south for those tests than to buy and operate an MRI machine in the territory.

However, the government says it expects that sometime in the 30-year life of the new hospital it will get an MRI machine.

4) Therapeutic gardens

The grounds of the new hospital will have a therapeutic garden overlooking Frame Lake. The gardens will also include a fire pit for ceremonial purposes.

5) Aurora-inspired LED lights

The designers of the hospital say they tried to incorporate natural elements in the look of the building. That includes LED lights on the side of the building that will light up at night to mimic the aurora.

Corrections

  • A previous version of this story stated that the hospital would be fully operational in 2021. In fact, it's expected to be fully operational in 2019.
    Feb 05, 2016 10:05 AM CT