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Children’s Hospital expansion project reaches new milestone

Oct. 26, 2017, 9:02 AM

Last week, the final steel beam to top out the structure of the four-floor expansion to Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt was hoisted into place. (photo by Anne Rayner)

Turner Construction crews recently hoisted the final steel beam to top out the structure of the four-floor expansion project at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt.

The topping out milestone marks a little more than a year of construction as well as signifies the ongoing progress of the expansion, which is set to ramp up in the coming months.

The additional four floors will provide the necessary square footage to meet the future health care needs of children and families from Tennessee, the surrounding region and across the nation.

Once fully completed, all four floors of new construction will add 160,000 square feet of additional space atop the hospital’s existing structure, bringing Children’s Hospital’s total footprint to more than 1 million square feet.

“Watching as the crane lifted the final steel beam to the top served as a reminder that we are one step closer to providing even more quality, comprehensive care to the 1,700 children and families that we see in our hospital and clinics every day,” said Luke Gregory, Chief Executive Officer of Children’s Hospital.

“We could not have made it to this important milestone without the tremendous support of our many partners — community pediatricians, the business and entertainment communities, individual philanthropy and, of course, the children and families of Middle Tennessee and beyond.”

Among the construction impacts to come will include the closure of the main Children’s Hospital front entrance and portions of the lobby, set to occur around Nov. 17.

The closures, which will last about 13 months, will allow for crews to begin installing two additional hospital elevators as well as shift the position of the grand staircase in the lobby. The grand staircase and the seating area on the second-floor balcony also will be closed off during that time.

Patient and visitors who need to access clinics in the Doctors’ Office Tower (DOT) from the hospital’s first floor will begin using a new temporary entrance tentatively set to open Friday, Oct. 27.

The temporary entrance (indicated as the yellow door on the map below) will provide the only access from the first floor to the DOT elevators throughout the 13-month period. Access to DOT will also still be available from the Children’s Hospital second-floor entrance via the sky bridge off the South garage.

A second temporary first-floor entrance (indicated as a green door on the map) is also being constructed inside the Children’s Hospital garden by the koi fish pond to allow access to radiology, diagnostic imaging and surgery. That change also will happen around the mid-November date to coincide with the main front entrance closure. After-hours hospital visitor access will continue to be gained through the Emergency Department (ED) entrance.

In preparation for the front entrance closure, Valet services for Children’s Hospital relocated in early October from the front entrance driveway to inside the South garage.

Valet services created signs to direct drivers to the South Garage and to the ED and other areas.

Wayfinding signs have been posted throughout the garage and along Children’s Way, with support from staff at various locations to help patients and visitors reach their destinations.

For more information on closures and other impacts throughout construction, please continue to look for updates in MyVUMC.

The construction entrance map above will help guide patients and visitors on how to reach their destinations during the expansion project at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt. The changes don’t go into full effect until around Nov. 17, when the main Children’s Hospital front entrance is expected to close. The only immediate entrance change, tentatively set for Friday, Oct. 27, and reflected on the map, relates to the new temporary Doctors’ Office Tower (DOT) entrance.

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