Children’s Hospital staircase and full lobby reopenMar. 7, 2019, 12:16 PM
by Christina Echegaray
Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt reopened its hallmark grand staircase and full lobby Feb. 25, marking a significant milestone in the hospital expansion which is entering the final stages before the first two new floors open later this year.
The grand staircase connecting the main lobby entrance to the second floor of Children’s Hospital was closed for about 14 months while construction crews installed two additional hospital elevators. The balcony seating area overlooking the staircase was closed as well, but also reopened as the newly dedicated Carell Family Balcony, honoring the hospital namesake, Monroe Carell Jr., and his family for their enduring commitment to health care needs of children.
“The newly dedicated Carell Family Balcony and the return of the grand staircase are exciting signs that we are moving closer to the opening of our first two expansion floors this year,” said Luke Gregory, chief executive officer of Children’s Hospital. “We look forward to providing comprehensive, quality care to even more children in Middle Tennessee and beyond. We are forever grateful to the Carell family and the entire community for making this expansion a reality.”
The additional four floors, supported by the Growing to New Heights Campaign, 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. When the first two floors — 10 and 11 — open, Children’s Hospital will increase its total beds from 267 to 335. Patients will be moved onto the first expansion floor around the end of June.
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.
Along with the staircase, the locomotive train housed on the first floor of the hospital, a favorite of children and adults, also made a long-awaited return. Some other key construction highlights to note: Both cranes used to lift construction have been removed, and the helipad atop Children’s Hospital has an anticipated operational return for the end of April.
Additionally, valet services for Children’s Hospital, which relocated from the front entrance of the hospital to the South garage in fall 2017, will permanently remain in the South garage moving forward. Valet services has several signs to direct drivers to the South Garage and to the ED and other areas.
For more information on closures and other impacts throughout construction, please continue to look for updates in MyVUMC.