October 15, 1999

Work on new Children’s Hospital moving ahead

Featured Image

Singer Amy Grant (left) visited the Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital playroom recently and chatted with, among others, two-year-old Tralissa Groves and her mother, Melissa, and six-year-old Nick Walker. VCH is the sponsor for Grant’s Christmas Concert, set for Dec. 7 and 8 at the Gaylord Entertainment Center. (photo by Dana Johnson

Work on new Children's Hospital moving ahead

photo by Dana Johnson
The parking lot across from the Dayani Center is set to serve as the home of the new Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital.

photo by Dana Johnson
The parking lot across from the Dayani Center is set to serve as the home of the new Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital.

The ground may not be broken but planning for the new free-standing Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital is proceeding full steam ahead.

The certificate of need for the new hospital, to be built at the corner of 22nd Avenue and Pierce, across from the Kim Dayani Human Performance Center, is scheduled to be filed in November. There will be a three-month review process, with a formal groundbreaking to follow, possibly in February.

Meanwhile the design phase continues in earnest. Earl Swensson and Associates, as planned, has now assumed complete responsibility for the project and is committed to expediting the remaining design.

“We will continue to move forward with our planning in the schematic design phase with Earl Swensson and Associates, who are working with the design team to complete the Children’s Hospital project,” said Misty Chambers, director of planning for Children’s Hospital.

The schematic design phase involves converting the program data into drawings that show where various departments are located in relationship to each other, “single line” diagrammatic floor plans and a rough three-dimensional view of what the mass of the building might be.

Chambers and John Sparks, an architect in Space and Facilities Planning and project manager for the Children’s Hospital project, said the design phase is progressing well as design teams have been broken down into smaller workgroups to meet with the architects. The architects incorporate the ideas generated by the design teams into drawings.

The Family Advisory Council and The Pediatric Advisory Council (PAC) have been active in the planning process with the architects, taking lead roles in looking into the patient and family spaces within the new VCH.

The facility is expected to have a plan that will make it easy for families to get into the facility and make their way through it; an atmosphere that supports a family-centered philosophy of care; and a design that conveys the message that it’s a special place for children.

Terrell Smith, administrative director of Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital, said several staff members and architects spent the summer visiting other hospitals for ideas.

Monroe J. Carell Jr., chairman and CEO of Central Parking Corp. and chair of the capital campaign for the new VCH, also visited two hospitals — Hasbro Children's Hospital in Providence, R.I., and the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta.

Other hospitals visited include: Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital in Cleveland; Doernbecher Children’s Hospital in Portland, Ore.; Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles, The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto; Methodist Children’s Hospital in San Antonio; Oschner Medical Center in New Orleans; Valley Children’s Hospital in Fresno, Calif.; Blank Children’s Hospital in Des Moines, Iowa; and Denver Children’s Hospital.

“We got some wonderful ideas from visiting these hospitals,” Smith said. “We saw the first generation of family-centered care at Hasbro Children’s Hospital and the second generation at the Medical College of Georgia. We’re hoping to be cheered on by both of these hospitals as we become the third generation, taking family-centered care to a new level.”

Smith said that she is confident that Earl Swensson and Associates will move the project forward.

“Earl Swensson has been responsible for all of the refurbishment and renovation in our existing Children’s Hospital,” Smith said. “We have a wonderful working relationship with them and the utmost confidence in their abilities.”

Many significant details are still being worked out as the committees meet. But the tentative plans call for the first level consisting of two major departments – Radiology and the Emergency Department. A first floor entrance will provide a patient and family drop-off with an entrance to the parking garage on that level.

The second, or plaza, level is the main level that will include a conference center, Family Resource Center and an atrium space. Open stairs and elevators will connect the levels.

The third level includes the operating rooms, cardiac catheterization labs, a special procedures unit and anesthesia. Ambulatory floors will begin at the fourth floor level. Inpatient floors starting at the fourth level include the NICU, PCCU, Adolescent Unit, Hematology/Oncology and Myelo Suppression Unit and Medical/Surgical Units.

The first phase of the construction will involve the development of the service and utility tunnels.

The service tunnel will be used by staff for the underground transportation of linen carts, dietary materials, trash, and other items from and to The Vanderbilt Clinic and Vanderbilt University Hospital.

The second tunnel will house the steam pipes, chilled water pipes, conduit for electrical feeds and data and communications wiring, pneumatic tubes, medical gas piping and other utilities. Constructing the second tunnel by boring 50 feet below street level will mean less disruption to 22nd Avenue near the main hospital and emergency department entrance, Sparks said.

Another phase of construction that will coincide with the building of the new Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital is the extension of the existing plaza.

The plaza is being extended to the site of the new Children’s Hospital and will provide a path for staff and visitors to access various buildings of the medical center without having to cross Pierce Avenue, said Fred DeWeese, Vice President for Facilities Planning and Development.

“The plaza will also extend to MRBII and the Capers Garage. You will be able to leave the second level of Capers Garage and walk down the plaza, all the way to McDonalds,” DeWeese said. “The plaza will meander around in an attractive way and will be wide enough to accommodate tables, benches, etc. for our visitors and staff to sit outside.”