What's happening out the front of CHW?
Families visiting The Children's Hospital at Westmead (CHW) will have improved access to conveniently located retail outlets, green spaces, cultural meeting places and play areas, thanks to a significant refurbishment project soon to get underway.
Work will commence this month on 'KidsPark' - a revitalised forecourt along the Hawkesbury Road entrance to the hospital. The project is part of the $619 million CHW Stage 2 redevelopment project, which includes the construction of the new Paediatric Services Building, Multi-Storey Car Park, and other refurbishment projects aimed at improving services in the existing hospital.
In place of the existing forecourt and old ambulance bay, KidsPark will include a ‘Village Green’ space with native trees and plants, seating, and shade. In partnership with Aboriginal community members, an Aboriginal Meeting Place is also being developed to create a culturally safe space for families to get together, spend time outdoors and hold ceremonies. In addition, a new playground is being installed, featuring a range of contemporary climbing and balancing play equipment for kids of all ages and abilities.
KidsPark is a wonderful initiative aimed at creating a welcoming and inclusive environment for families and patients, and I am thrilled to be a part of it," said SCHN Director of Finance and Corporate Services Sayeed Zia.
"The addition of a village green space with native trees and plants, an Aboriginal Meeting Place in partnership with the community, and a new playground with modern climbing and balancing equipment will provide families with an opportunity to spend quality time together and connect with nature."
"I believe this project will positively impact the hospital and its patients, and I am eager to see the final results," Sayeed added.
Ford Civil was awarded the tender to undertake early works on the project, while Kane Constructions will develop the grocer, canopy and playground.
What does this mean for staff and visitors?
While these works are underway, access will be maintained to the drop-off zone, hospital entry, Kids Research and the Clinical Research Centre. Wayfinding signs will also be installed to communicate any changes to pedestrian access.
During this time, the public may notice the demolition of existing structures and the removal of some trees. This work is necessary to deliver an improved open green space. Care is being taken to retain as much of the existing gumtree grove as possible, with additional native trees and shrubs also being planted.
The new and improved forecourt is expected to open in 2024.