Construction begins on new Canadian Blood Services facility in Calgary

Construction began Friday on a new operations facility for Canadian Blood Services.

New operations centre scheduled to open in 2020

Ground was broken Friday for a new operations centre for Canadian Blood Services. The facility is scheduled to open in 2020. (Canadian Blood Services)

Construction began Friday on a new operations facility for Canadian Blood Services in Calgary.

Set to open in 2020, the new facility on Barlow Trail will mean production, testing and distribution will be closer to major transportation routes than the current downtown location.

"The most important part of our new facility is that it will enable Calgary to process about 24 per cent of the 17,000 units of whole blood that Canadian Blood Services collects for Canadian patients each week," said Dr. Graham Sher, chief executive officer of Canadian Blood Services.

Once complete, the 153,000 square foot facility will include:

  • 21,600 square feet of production space.
  • 18,000 square feet of testing space.
  • 28,100 square feet of warehousing, logistics and distribution space to deliver blood and blood products.

To meet the needs of hospital patients, 17,000 units of blood must be collected each week.

Officials says one-in-two Canadians are eligible to donate blood but only one-in-60 does.

The upgrade is part of a national effort started in 2005 through funding provided by the provinces and territories.

The National Facilities Redevelopment Program first focused on the Maritimes and south central Ontario. The Calgary facility is part of the next phase now underway in Western Canada, which includes a new clinic in Saskatoon and a collection facility opening in Calgary's Eau Claire Market on July 10.