As the building itself continues to grow, so does the excitement for the new hospital in Portage la Prairie.

Tara Pettinger, Executive Director for the Portage District General Hospital Foundation, says that the structural steel elements, fireproofing and insulation are nearing completion.

"Some masonry work is starting on that exterior of the building, it's going to start to look like a real building now," she continues. "I just think that it is unreal to watch."

file photoTara Pettinger.

Pettinger notes that back in March, the foundation had an opportunity to make a $3,000,000 contribution to the project for areas not covered by the government.

"We were absolutely thrilled to be able to do that and be such a significant part of this major community project."

With the hospital being years in the making, Pettinger says it's neat to see how far the hospital has come.

"We can obviously think back from our very first conversations about what role we can play and the studies done by the consultant hired to try to move this forward. So, seeing it now becoming a reality is cool."

She says the foundation's mandate is to enhance and provide a superior healthcare experience for anybody seeking care.

"There are some projects we're trying to work towards being a part of the hospital that wouldn't be covered by government funding. One of those is just off the palliated, which is at the end of one of the wards, a beautiful patio area that is overlooked by the lake. We know the initial project will not cover planters, furniture, etc. So, that's where we want to be prepared to jump in and be able to provide that."

The Hospital Foundation continues to fundraise, according to Pettinger, with cash calendars available right now and a gala planned for the fall.

"We know that the community will continue to support us."

She adds that this new beautiful facility will make the community more attractive for industry and anybody looking to move here.

"Lots of people will hopefully be able to find care a little bit closer to home just with this new larger facility."

Pettinger told PortageOnline that Southern Health–Santé Sud has yet to release a date for the total completion of the healthcare facility.