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Heliport construction underway

The official sod turning ceremony took place outside of the Portage District General Hospital Monday afternoon as construction is underway on the incoming heliport. (Brian Oliver/The Graphic)

The official sod turning ceremony took place outside of the Portage District General Hospital Monday afternoon as construction is underway on the incoming heliport. (Brian Oliver/The Graphic)

Aaron Wilgosh - Daily Graphic/Herald Leader Contributor

A first of its kind.

Construction is officially underway on a new hospital-based heliport at the Portage District General Hospital. The helipad is the first outside of Winnipeg in the province and was completely funded by donations through the Portage District General Hospital Foundation (PDGHF).

“This is 100 per cent funded by the PDGHF and it wouldn’t be happening without donations. It really has become a community project and here we are getting started on it,” says PDGHF executive director, Erin Miller. “We’re just finishing up our lottery which is funding the project.”

The Foundation decided to go ahead with the project in May of this year. At first, a helicopter landing area was going to be built but they decided to go with an actual heliport, which is a little more advanced and much safer. The total cost of construction is set around $350,000 and the tender was awarded to EF Moon Construction. The entire project isn’t expected to take too long as the completion date is set for October 17, just a few weeks away.

“Having something like this is really important because what STARS Air Ambulance does for the province is vital and we’re glad to be a part of it here in Portage,” adds Miller.

Portage Mayor Irvine Ferris along with Minister of Health Kelvin Goertzen both stopped in to show their support at the groundbreaking ceremony Monday and feel it’s something that will benefit the entire region.

The last day to get tickets for the lottery is Thursday, September 28.



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