SURREY â€” A group of builders from the Fraser Valley recently joined forces to demonstrate that itâ€™s possible to construct a new hospital from the ground up in about 90 hours â€“ with around 7,000 LEGO bricks.
The result is a two-foot tall replica of Surrey Memorial Hospitalâ€™s new Critical Care Tower. The structure even has its own ambulance, helicopter and medical staff â€“ all made of small plastic bricks.
The replica was commissioned by Jane Adams, president and CEO of Surrey Memorial Hospital Foundation, as a unique auction item for an upcoming charity golf tournament organized by EllisDon, the company that orchestrated the construction of the real Critical Care Tower.
The idea of creating a LEGO tower came to Adams after she learned that the Child Life specialists at Surrey Memorial use these simple building blocks to help young patients and siblings in the Childrenâ€™s Health Centre and the pediatric emergency department cope with their time in the hospital.
Earlier this summer, LEGO enthusiast and Langley resident Lee Wager rallied members of the Abbotsford LEGO User Group (AKA AbbyLUG) to volunteer their time and take on the challenge.
EllisDon supplied Wager with photos and drawings, and he also paid a visit to the hospital for a closer look.
He notes that one of the biggest challenges of using LEGO to building architectural pieces is working with geometric shapes and figuring out how to accommodate unique features, such as curved walls.
For the hospital tower, Wager and the group had to replicate the one-of-a-kind windows above the lobby and source out enough blue bricks needed to build the distinctive coloured walls of the main building.
Itâ€™s all part of the LEGO building challenge, he says. â€œItâ€™s fun to try to create or innovate with LEGO, because it has its limitations.â€
The LEGO enthusiastsâ€™ creation will be on the auction block at the golf tournament, set for July 22 at the Morgan Creek course in South Surrey.
The golfers and guests will include many of the contractors, trades and suppliers involved in building health-care facility in Surrey. Adams expects lots of bids.
â€œWe received incredible support from the construction industry when we were raising money to purchase equipment for the Tower, so I think this unique souvenir will be a hot item at the auction.â€
For more information about Surrey Memorial Hospital Foundation, visit www.smhfoundation.com. To find out more about the Abbotsford Lego User Group go to www.abbylug.com.