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Image by Chris Cooper
Image by Sarah Mechling/Perkins Eastman

The Elizabeth Seton Pediatric Center, which offers long-term care to children with complex clinical conditions and disabilities, had been based on Sixth Avenue in Manhattan for a century. But an expiring lease forced the center to relocate to Yonkers, N.Y., where it built a 137-bed, 165,000-sq-ft facility on the top of a hill.

The four-story building is divided into smaller "neighborhoods," which are centered around a non-hospital-like family room where kids can play. Nurses' desks are built inconspicuously into the millwork around the edges.

The building's overall design was inspired by the lodges built in the country's national parks at the turn of the 20th century that accommodated large groups in open, convivial settings. With ceilings and furniture sporting bright hues, the pediatric center also features wide porches with views of the Hudson River.

The $77-million project, set for completion in 24 months, was finished in just 21. To hasten construction, a novel quadrant approach was adopted. Instead of excavating the whole site at once, for example, workers dug only one square at a time. By the time they reached the second quadrant, the foundation was being poured in the first; when the fourth quadrant was getting a foundation, framing was going up in the first, and so on.

Toiling at breakneck speed, workers did not even pause for the snowstorms that pummeled the region in the winter of 2011. There were no major accidents, save for minor cuts and scrapes to a few workers.

The Sisters of Charity, who run the hospital, helped the project along by frequently providing cookies and candies to the workers. In gratitude, the workers "responded with care and attention above the normal call, and the proof was in the quality of the end result," says Andron Construction Corp., the general contractor.

The nuns got a key assist from local police and fire departments, too. Once the new center opened, those emergency personnel drove the children in their vehicles from Manhattan to Yonkers.

Elizabeth Seton Pediatric Center, Yonkers, N.Y

Key Players

Owner/Developer: Elizabeth Seton Pediatric Center

General Contractor/Construction Manager: Andron Construction Corp.

Lead Designer: Perkins Eastman

Civil Engineer: Langan Engineering and Environmental Services

Structural Engineer: Goldstein Associates

MEP Engineer: JB&B Consulting Engineers

Submitted by: Andron Construction Corp.

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