Akron Children’s Hospital first announced plans to build a $200 million expansion of its downtown Akron campus in the summer of 2012. Called Building on the Promise, the project broke ground on May 30, 2013. Just a few days ago, it reached another important milestone.
On April 2, Akron Children’s Hospital held a topping-out ceremony to celebrate the project reaching its highest point without loss of life or serious injury. Construction crews hoisted the traditional evergreen tree and American flag to the top of the new seven-story building to symbolize growth and to bring good luck.
Building on the Promise is Akron Children’s first major project in more than two decades and will help the hospital keep up with an increase in patients and services. The centerpiece of the project is the 300,000-square-foot critical-care tower. Located on the west side of the campus, at the intersection of Locus and Exchange streets, it will feature a new 100-bed neonatal intensive care unit, new emergency department, outpatient surgical suites and an enclosed concourse that takes patients and staff from the new six-level, 1,250-space parking garage to the new building and beyond into the existing hospital.
Plans also call for the renovation of the Ronald McDonald House on the hospital’s campus. It will expand from 20 to 60 rooms for families receiving treatment at the hospital.
The new building is expected to open as early as March 2015. It will have a LEED for Healthcare Silver certification, reflecting its environmentally responsible and resource-efficient status. Between 175 and 200 people will be employed in the new critical care tower.
The project is funded through donations and a combination of public financing and the use of the hospital’s internal reserves. Akron Children’s is looking to raise $50 million for the critical care tower and $10 million for the Ronald McDonald House expansion. At the start of March, the hospital announced that more than $25.2 million has been raised so far. A public fundraising campaign will launch this fall.
Photo credits: Akron Children’s Hospital