The new plaza at the entrance of the Stettler Hospital and Care Centre is being heavily uses since it was opened earlier this month. Seen here are

The new plaza at the entrance of the Stettler Hospital and Care Centre is being heavily uses since it was opened earlier this month. Seen here are

New, ‘inviting’ entrance to hospital

When patients and guests come to the Stettler Hospital and Care Centre, the hospital front’s beautifully landscaped plaza is rarely empty.

When patients and guests come to the Stettler Hospital and Care Centre, the hospital front’s beautifully landscaped plaza is rarely empty. The memorial bench is often full of people getting a fresh breath of air, kids playing in the gravel, and teens and adults sitting on the low wall.

Yet, just a few months ago, the plaza adjacent to the main entrance was bare dirt and weeds, with some old scraggly bushes growing in a pitiful and stunted look being the only decoration.

On Thursday, Sept. 22, members of the Lakeview Mennonite church community, the Stettler Health Foundation, Alberta Health Services, James Marshall Trucking and Skaley Landscaping gathered, to officially open the newly renovated plaza.

The companies donated materials and labour for the job, while a financial donation from the church community covered any other costs of the project. The donation was specifically given to the foundation for beautifying the front area, a member of the church, who wished to remain anonymous, explained.

The Lakeview Mennonite church’s youth group donated sweat equity, helping tear out bushes and weed the area in preparation for the project.

Most of that work was done earlier in the summer, with the plaza itself being completed earlier this month.

“All of you have had a hand in making the front of the hospital look so inviting,” Leona Thorogood, chairperson of the Stettler Hospital Foundation, said to the gathered group. “(The plaza) is little, but it’s not. It’s huge and means a lot to the people who use it.”

From the moment the cautionary tape was removed and the plaza was open for use, the plaza has been popular, she said.

“From the first day it was finished, people have been out there, using it,” Thorogood explained.

While there is currently only one bench in the plaza, a memorial bench that was taken from the lobby and placed prominently on the cobbles, more benches will be added in the future.