North Okanagan residents can take a free tour of Vernon Jubilee Hospital’s new Polson Tower Saturday.

North Okanagan residents can take a free tour of Vernon Jubilee Hospital’s new Polson Tower Saturday.

Tower opens for public tours

North Okanagan residents don’t have to wait until an emergency forces them through the doors of Vernon Jubilee Hospital’s new Polson Tower.

North Okanagan residents don’t have to wait until an emergency forces them through the doors of Vernon Jubilee Hospital’s new Polson Tower.

Anyone eager to get a peek inside the seven-storey, 231,500 square-foot facility, can do so Saturday. An open house will offer self-guided tours, starting at the main entrance of the new tower, between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m.

“I was absolutely impressed with the quality of the finishing, the design…,” said Coldstream Coun. Maria Besso, who toured the building last week with Mayor Jim Garlick.

Along with state-of-the art equipment and operating rooms, the facility features rooms that are up to 30 per cent larger than those in the adjacent old facility.

Spacious and private birthing rooms in the Women’s and Children’s Health Centre, complete with their own showers and room for dads to sleep, impressed Garlick.

“I went home and told my wife she might want to think about having more children,” said Garlick, who liked the idea of not having to sleep in the waiting room. “She said no.”

Work started on the tower Nov. 17, 2008 and is scheduled to open Sept. 25 at 7 a.m. to serve approximately 86,000 North Okanagan residents.

The total cost of the project rings in at just under $200 million.