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Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU celebrates completion of major construction milestone with ‘Topping Out’ ceremony

Construction milestone marks placement of highest steel beam

Children’s Hospital of Richmond at Virginia Commonwealth University (CHoR) on Monday “topped out” its new Children’s Pavilion, marking the placement of the highest steel beam of the pavilion’s 15-story structural frame.

With the highest beam in place, CHoR is one step closer to the completion of the region’s most advanced outpatient facility dedicated to children. The $168 million, 640,000-square-foot facility is scheduled to open in 2016. The pavilion will house 72 exam rooms; a surgical area with two operating rooms and two procedure rooms; areas for diagnostic testing, imaging and laboratory services; as well as family amenities, retail space and faculty offices. Construction also will include an attached parking garage with more than 600 spaces.

The new facility will enhance the mission of VCU’s nationally ranked academic medical center to be a strong partner with the community to put children first, providing unrivaled pediatric health care, medical education and research to benefit all children and their families.

The new structure is being built adjacent to the existing Children’s Pavilion, across the street from VCU Medical Center. Construction of the pavilion has created 150 skilled trade jobs and that number will grow to nearly 500 when interior construction is fully operational. The pavilion spans 170 feet from the ground level to the top of the penthouse, contains 2,500 tons of steel and 41,000 cubic yards of concrete (4,000 pounds per cubic yard).

Leslie Wyatt, senior vice president for children’s services and executive director of CHoR, said the building’s construction progress has run parallel to CHoR’s operational work to advance children’s health. Wyatt highlighted that since breaking ground in 2012, CHoR has hired nearly 40 new pediatric specialists, increased research funding by 30 percent and developed two new advanced training fellowship programs.

“While construction crew members worked together to build the structural frame you see today, groups of CHoR team members from all disciplines have been collaborating to develop new programs, implement process improvements and enhance the patient experience we provide now – and that we will provide within the walls of the new pavilion,” Wyatt said.

HKS, Inc. designed the Children’s Pavilion to be a dynamic, creative solution to address a compressed urban footprint. The pavilion’s design recently won a 2014 American Institute of Architects Academy of Architecture for Healthcare Design Award for its visionary strength which addresses aesthetic, civic, and urban concerns as well as functional and operational elements.

About VCU and VCU Medical Center

Virginia Commonwealth University is a major, urban public research university with national and international rankings in sponsored research. Located in downtown Richmond, VCU enrolls more than 31,000 students in 226 degree and certificate programs in the arts, sciences and humanities. Sixty-seven of the programs are unique in Virginia, many of them crossing the disciplines of VCU’s 13 schools and one college. MCV Hospitals and the health sciences schools of Virginia Commonwealth University comprise VCU Medical Center, one of the nation’s leading academic medical centers. For more, see www.vcu.edu.

About Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU

Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU is Central Virginia’s only comprehensive, full-service children’s hospital and the only Level I pediatric trauma center in Virginia. CHoR provides pediatric inpatient and outpatient services that cover nearly all children’s health-related needs. As part of VCU Health, CHoR is committed to ensuring access to care for all children, training future pediatric caregivers and making new discoveries that improve understanding and treatment of childhood diseases. For more, see chrichmond.org.