Construction is nearing halfway on the Children’s Hospital, by Julie Reed, Eliot Neighborhood Association Blog

The structural framework for the new nine-story, 334,000 sq. ft. Children’s Hospital at Legacy Emanuel has created a visible presence on the east Portland landscape. The new building project is 45 percent complete and is expected to open in spring 2012.

The project reached an important milestone this fall with the completion of structural steel. That progress was celebrated at a “topping out” event attended by 350 business, community, health and political leaders, donors, hospital staff and other guests from around the region. Guests signed a 31-foot steel beam that was placed on top of the new building. Fourth graders from nearby Boise-Eliot Elementary led the crowd in a flag wave to signal the crane operator to raise the beam to the top of the 164 ft. high structure.

The topping out celebration featured presentations by Legacy Health President and CEO George Brown, M.D., Legacy Board Chair Colleen Cain and Congressman Earl Blumenauer. “This is an exciting time for Legacy Health and the future of health care for our children,” said George Brown, M.D. “We know that children and families are better served by having access to the best health care facilities available.”

Construction activity throughout the winter months will focus on interior framing, rough-in installation of the electrical, mechanical, and plumbing systems, steel fireproofing, and installation of the exterior sheathing for the building.

The new hospital project is the main feature of a comprehensive $242 million campus enhancement initiative that includes the addition of a new 425-vehicle capacity parking structure, new utility power plant featuring Green Guide for Healthcare™ design and engineering, and enhancements at Emanuel Medical Center.

Features of the new 165-bed Children’s Hospital include:

Building design and construction incorporate the Green Guide for Healthcare™ health care industry standards for sustainable design and construction practices to create high performing healing environments.

Evidenced based design principles have been used to create patient rooms, work spaces and family areas that serve the special healthcare needs of children and promote patient and family-centered care to maximize healing and comfort.

A 22-room Children’s Emergency Department (ED) doubles the size of the current facility.

A 22-bed Children’s Day Surgery Unit.

A Neonatal Intensive Care (NICU) with sky bridge access to Labor and Delivery and the Family Birth Center. The NICU will feature 31 single private rooms, and 7 rooms for twins.

A 24-bed Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) with large private rooms so parents and family can remain with their children and work closely with caregivers during treatment.

Four floors of private patient rooms for specialized pediatric services such as Oregon’s only inpatient rehabilitation program, cardiology, hematology/oncology, neurology, orthopedics, and trauma.

Watch the construction progress on the project web camera.  Keep track of progress and join the conversation on Facebook.