Renovated entrance to Dartmouth General Hospital now open to the public

The latest phase in the reconstruction of the Dartmouth General Hosptial is now open to the public.

After a lengthy renovation, the hospital has a new main entrance. But the work is far from over — it’s only a portion of a massive project that will eventually see the aging buildings at Halifax’s VG Hosptial shut down.

“The new area of the hospital is so much more than a new entrance and reception area. It’s the first major constructions deliverable of the Dartmouth Regional Development Project,” said Todd Howlett, a staff physician at Dartmouth General Hospital.

“But symbolically, this space carries much more significant to the staff, the physicians of this hospital and to the community we serve.”

The new entrance now has a drop-off canopy on the exterior of the building. The entrance way is larger and the registration area is modern and more welcoming.

Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal Lloyd Hines says he is pleased to see that progress is being made with the redevelopment project.

“It’s about improving access to health care, it’s about reducing wait time, it’s about meeting the health-care needs of Nova Scotians and Atlantic Canadians today and well into the future,” said Hines, on Tuesday.

Jody Porter, a patient at Dartmouth General, and now a member of the redevelopment patient advisory committee, is excited the community also has a say in the development.

“We’re so thankful that the Dartmouth General look for input not only from planners, from building experts, staff physicians and volunteers but also from the community that will ultimately utilize it,” said Porter.

The $140-million project will double the number of operating rooms, add nearly 50 new hospital beds and an additional floor to the building, all of which are expected to open in summer 2019.

This is one of many renovations done throughout the city in preparation for the eventual closure of the Victoria and Centennial buildings in Halifax.

Construction at Dartmouth General is expected to be completed in spring 2021.

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