by Jason P. Smith
The Children’s Hospital recently broke ground for its new hospital on the Fitzsimons campus, which is scheduled to open in late 2007. The new hospital will be headquarters for Children’s network of care and will be located on 41 acres at the biomedical campus being developed by the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center.
"Our ceremonial groundbreaking is an exciting milestone in our plans to build a state-of-the-art facility for the next generations of children," said Dori Biester, PhD, RN, Children’s President and CEO. "Our vision is to create a resource for families and a health network for children. As one of the premier children’s hospitals in the world, our new facility will be the anchor for that pediatric network."
The cost for the hospital itself is estimated at $250 million. The cost of the project, which includes much more than the hospital building, is projected to be approximately $458 million. The components of the approximately 1.2 million-square-foot project are the new hospital, an outpatient care building, an office building and both surface and structure parking.
The Children’s Hospital Imagine the Miracles Campaign, a comprehensive fundraising campaign to build the new hospital and sustain the hospital’s health programs and network of care also recently announced a campaign goal of $250 million. At the time of the groundbreaking, approximately $125 million had been raised during the "quiet phase," of the campaign, which brought the hospital to nearly the halfway point at the time of the groundbreaking ceremony.
"This comprehensive fundraising campaign will support two major initiatives: to build ‘the most healing hospital’ for children so that they and their families have reason to hope, and to attract the ‘best minds, hands and hearts’ to advance excellent patient care and build and support Children’s current programs and operations," said Don Elliman, chair of The Children’s Hospital board of directors and co-chair of the Imagine the Miracles Campaign.
At the time of the groundbreaking ceremony, record-setting gifts totaling approximately $55 million had been pledged by The Children’s Hospital and Children’s Hospital Foundation boards. Children’s physicians, as well as community pediatricians and family medicine physicians, had pledged more than $1 million at the time of the ceremony as well as 74 percent Children’s employees.
"The enthusiasm and generosity of everyone who has given to support patient care, education, research and advocacy have been fantastic," said Ron Williams, co-chair of the Imagine the Miracles Campaign.
In addition to the campaign, these initiatives will be funded primarily through tax –exempt bonds, hospital operations, and a portion of the unrestricted assets of The Children’s Hospital Foundation.
Features of the new hospital include private rooms with family sleeping accommodations, family storage, private baths, dataports and desks. Also included will be family lounges, additional sleep areas and waiting areas with quiet zones.
Of course, there will be plenty to keep children busy and having fun as well in the new facility. There will be an outdoor green space with children’s play areas, child-sized countertops in reception areas and a kids-only area with Internet access, activities, games, fun and entertainment equipment.