Contractors broke ground in mid-February on a new state-of-the-art pediatric hospital in Baton Rouge, La.

Our Lady of the Lake Children's Hospital is constructing a new facility on a 65-acre green space. Jeff Mosley, Our Lady of the Lake vice president of construction, says the six-story, 364,000 sq ft hospital will feature 80 hospital beds with space to grow to 130 beds. The facility will feature an emergency room, a surgical unit, dedicated oncology unit, and playgrounds on every floor.

The design calls for structural reinforcement to support the expansion of the hospital to eight stories should needs arise in the future. Mosley says the project also includes the construction of a 95,000 sq ft medical office building for pediatric specialists. Contractors will also build an access road that runs parallel to I-10 that runs between Essen Lane and Bluebonnet Boulevard.

The facilities will be erected in a typical steel construction fashion with a curtain wall and brick exterior. Mosley says the interior of the hospital will feature state-of-the-art medical design with lots of "whimsical flavors" to appeal to the pediatric patients. Each floor and section will have its own unique design based on a ecological theme.

Mosley says he is currently receiving all early package bids and performing site testing and pile testing. "The contractor is mobilizing and we expect to start excavating in April and to start driving pile in June. We should be erecting steel in late-summer," says Mosley.

The general contractor for the main hospital is Brasfield & Gorrie of Nashville, Tenn., and the general contractor for the medical office building is Milton J. Womack Inc., of Baton Rouge.

Mosley says the $230 million hospital is the result of a decade of planning and philanthropic fundraising. Completion is expected in late-2018.