Hospital helipad on track to reach the sky

BALLARAT’S new helipad is on track to be ready by October.

Other construction works on the Ballarat Health Services Base Hospital’s Mair Street site – including a car park of 567 spaces and a new MRI bunker – are also moving rapidly, according to BHS corporate services executive director Russell Hardy.

Mr Hardy said the car park’s footings, stormwater pipes and columns are now all in place, with the helipad to be built on site first by October, and the three-level car park to be constructed underneath it by November.

He said the MRI bunker, which will have room for expansion and a second MRI machine as needed, is planned for a mid-July opening.

“The car park will have an additional 200 parking spots,” Mr Hardy said.

“It will give us 567 in total and the big plus for us is the visitor parking, which we have been able to designate an amount of spaces for.”

Mr Hardy said Ballarat City Council had given $2.4 million to add the third level to the car park.

He said there was room left for the car park to expand horizontally as needed.

Mr Hardy said BHS had bought a new MRI machine, due for installation late next month.

“They hope to start on the (bunker’s) brickwork tomorrow and then the surfaces inside, including the ceiling work,” he said.

The helipad and car park are part of a $46.4 million expansion of Ballarat Health Services, which also includes 60 extra beds and the relocation of ambulatory care services to a new three-storey building.

The location of the rooftop helipad has been determined by suitable flight paths, and made in consultation with Air Ambulance Victoria.