Red Deer’s Capstone community is imagined as a walkable urban community with extraordinary proximity to both nature and downtown. However, surrounded by dozens of health providers, medical services, wellness centres and an expanding Red Deer Regional Hospital – Capstone is also emerging as a health district for its 5,000 new residents to live active, healthy and socially-connected lives.

Nestled near the southeast corner of the Capstone redevelopment is the Red Deer Regional Hospital. In 2022, The Government of Alberta announced a $1.8 billion expansion of the hospital to meet the growing needs of Central Alberta, and its approximately 450,000 residents.

On January 26, 2023, officials from the Ministry of Infrastructure held a public open house in Red Deer to discuss the timeline and next steps in the delivery of the hospital program.

Step 1, now nearing completion, is the delivery of a Functional Program. The Functional Program attempts to summarize and analyze the functional and operational requirements of each hospital department and unit by gathering research and user input and conducting a needs assessment for how the spaces of the hospital can be designed for optimal effectiveness and use. 

Equipped with a working Functional Program, ministry officials can move to Step 2, which is the selection of a qualified architect or prime design consultant.

Alberta’s Minister of Infrastructure Nathan Neudorf said the biggest message the government wanted to express was that “construction of a healthcare facility is complex” when compared to schools or other public buildings. Indeed, with a project of this magnitude with multiple building phases and stages, the government is expecting a 7-8 year build out.

A request for tender for design has already been issued for the new hospital and the government expects it will be awarded - alongside the functional programming’s completion - at the end of March.

So, what does this mean for Capstone?       

Beyond the obvious advantage of proximity to healthcare and services, future residents of Capstone will also enjoy employment opportunities at the new Red Deer Regional Hospital. A lot of hospital workers, from doctors to cafeteria attendants, will choose to live in the modern appointed townhomes and condos of the community and enjoy a short commute (walk) to work winter and summer.

Active-retirees and seniors may find favour with some of the lower maintenance 55+ styled residences, while visitors to the hospital will enjoy shopping in the community, dining with family or taking a stroll down riverwalk to enjoy the fresh air and Red Deer River views. As a master planned community and an emerging health district, Capstone is quickly becoming a desirable city address.