Virginia Commonwealth University Plans to Build $350 Million Children's Hospital (Richmond Times-Dispatch)
Cost: Estimated $350 million -plus
Size: 500,000 square feet; 16 stories above ground including four levels of shell space for future growth; four levels of parking below ground
Beds: 86 inpatient beds, 6 observation beds; ability to expand to 120 or more beds in the future
Construction start: spring 2019
Features: all private rooms, emergency room, two general operating rooms, hybrid operating room, family rooms, education spaces, co-located integrated inpatient and outpatient hematology and oncology care
Vendors: HKS architects; JLL, program manager; DPR Construction , construction manager
The Virginia Commonwealth University Health System on Friday announced plans to build an 86-bed, $350 million inpatient children's hospital on Marshall Street adjacent to its outpatient Children's Pavilion building in downtown Richmond.
Construction is expected to start in the spring with projected completion by the end of 2022.
"The completion of the Children's Pavilion with a new inpatient hospital will provide an exclusively child-centered environment as advocated by patient families, our own pediatric team and regional children's health care providers," said Michael Rao , president of VCU and the VCU Health System , in a statement.
Dr. Marsha Rappley , CEO of the VCU Health System and senior vice president for health sciences at VCU, said in a statement that "all children deserve the very best care in a welcoming environment that meets the unique needs of each child and their family.
"A comprehensive Children's Pavilion that is designed in partnership with children's health care providers from across the region and state, as well as with families, will give all children a focus of hope during what may be the most difficult journey of their lives," Rappley said.
The new facility will replace the existing inpatient pediatric unit at VCU's Main Hospital .
A grass-roots group of parents and community-based physicians had advocated for years for a dedicated, free-standing, independently-operated children's hospital in the Richmond area.
Previously, the VCU Health System and the Bon Secours Health System had proposed working together with an independent hospital alliance to build a children's hospital, but those plans fell through.
"I'm so glad they are improving their inpatient care experience," said Dr. Melissa Nelson , a pediatrician and one of the leaders of the group that had operated as Pediatricians Associated to Care for Kids, or PACKids.
Nelson said community physicians still hope for a solution to fragmented care where children's services are spread among the three health systems - VCU, Bon Secours and HCA Virginia.
"We have a lot of pediatrics going on at VCU and in our community. I think it's time for an inventory of all of those resources - VCU's pediatric resources and our community's. And we need to find a way to take that inventory and put them under one roof," Nelson said. "That's the bigger step I think we are ready to take as a community, and I'd love for VCU to lead that step forward."
Businessman and philanthropist William H. Goodwin Jr . and his wife, Alice, had offered significant financial support to an independently operated children's hospital before that plan died.
"I want to wish VCU good fortune," Goodwin said. "Obviously, my wife and I feel strongly the hospital systems needed to join forces. I would personally rather see it be more inclusive of other hospital systems."