Children's Medical Center Begins Renovation Projects Totaling $130 Million

May 17, 2012

Children’s Medical Center has begun major renovations to add dozens of inpatient beds and improve services at the nation’s fifth-largest pediatric healthcare facility.

The renovations will spread across 208,000 square feet and encompass five floors of the hospital. The projects, totaling approximately $130 million, will allow nationally ranked Children’s Medical Center to continue meeting increasing patient demand spurred by the rapid pediatric growth in the region.

“A primary strategic priority for Children’s is to be the preferred provider of highly complex pediatric care in this region,” said Doug Hock, chief operating officer and executive vice president of hospital and clinic operations. “To that end, we’ve developed a comprehensive, multi-year facility master plan and intend to invest over $100 million over the next several years to ensure that programs like the Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders and Heart Center have the most advanced facilities and equipment possible.”

The improvements include: 

  • A total of 48 additional inpatient beds added on two floors of the hospital. This expansion also will usher in the Lung and Airway Center of Excellence, as well as a full-service, 1,100-square-foot gym for speech, occupational and physical therapy.
  • The Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders will expand to take up the entire sixth floor of the hospital, including the addition of a new eight-bed inpatient unit and a new day hospital with an infusion area for children requiring more prolonged treatments.
  • The Heart Center will grow by 100,000 square feet, including a new, state-of-the-art operating room and catheterization lab suite near the cardiovascular intensive care unit, which will minimize the risk of moving critically ill patients.
  • A new MRI will allow patients to get less invasive diagnostic imaging without leaving The Heart Center.
  • Twelve additional cardiovascular intensive care patient rooms.   
“This architectural arrangement is highly sought after, though rarely achieved, in the pediatric cardiac world,” said Dr. Joseph Forbess, Children’s Medical Center’s division director of pediatric cardiothoracic surgery and co-director of the hospital’s Heart Center.  “We are very happy to be one of the few places in the world that can offer this level of care to our patients,” said Forbess, who is also a professor at UT Southwestern Medical Center.

The Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders’ new infusion area, which will include 18 bays, will allow children to undergo more prolonged daytime treatments without having to be admitted to the hospital overnight.

The improvements are intended to make hospital stays “as pleasant as possible for the patients and family members who accompany them,” said Dr. Stephen Skapek, medical director of the Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders. The work will complement the new 14,000-square-foot hematology clinic that just opened on Children’s sixth floor.

“We are very excited to be entering the next phase of construction in the CCBD,” said Skapek, also a professor of pediatrics and director of UT Southwestern Medical Center’s pediatric hematology/oncology division.

The full scope of the hospital’s construction improvements is expected to last two years, with the project slated for completion in fall 2014. Changes have already started with the closing of Children’s Medical Center’s circular driveway off Southwestern Medical Avenue, which leads to the entrance at the hospital’s trains display. This entrance will remain open for pedestrians for a short while, but soon will close completely to accommodate installation of a materials hoist outside the building.

An average of 200 construction workers will be at the hospital each day during the improvements. Multiple materials hoists will be installed outside two of the hospital’s towers to reduce the congestion of construction workers and building materials inside the hospital. 

About Children’s Medical Center

The not-for-profit Children's Medical Center is the fifth-largest pediatric healthcare provider in the country, with 559 licensed beds, two full-service campuses and 10 outpatient sites. Children’s was the state’s first pediatric hospital to achieve Level 1 Trauma status and is the only pediatric teaching facility in North Texas, affiliated with UT Southwestern Medical Center.