Community signs final steel beam of Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU’s new tower
The pandemic hasn’t slowed construction of Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU’s new inpatient tower – and it didn’t keep the hospital and greater Richmond community members from safely leaving their mark.
Last week hundreds of team members, patients, donors, construction workers and community members signed the tower’s final steel beam, which will be placed atop the structure next month, marking the final step in the construction of the building’s exterior. Scheduled to open in 2023 adjacent to the outpatient Children’s Pavilion in downtown Richmond, it will be the new home for pediatric inpatient, emergency and Level 1 trauma care.
“This is an exciting day – a milestone in our commitment to continually improving care and resources for kids and families in our city, region, commonwealth and beyond,” said Elias Neujahr, CHoR CEO. “Countless people had a hand in getting us to this point. They’ve certainly already made an impression on the development of this new facility, but today they had a chance to visually leave their mark by signing the final beam.”
Community pediatrician Dr. Tamara Sutherland was among those who signed and shared their thoughts on what the tower represents.
“Having all of the pediatric specialists together in one place – and in a state-of-the-art facility that matches the caliber of care they provide – is monumental for my patients and all of the kids and families in our region,” said Dr. Sutherland. “The fact that they don’t need to travel far from home to get the specialty medical care they need is an important component in safeguarding their physical and emotional health.”
Ten-year-old Ben Burnett has spent his fair share of time in the hospital for a rare lung disease and is looking forward to the new, kid-centric building for a host of other reasons.
“I’m excited that it’s going to be bright and cheerful and that I won’t have to share a room with a roommate. There will be different playrooms and spaces for kids so we won’t get so bored when we’re in the hospital,” said Burnett.
When completed, the tower will be approximately 260 feet tall – or the height of 13 giraffes. The 500,000-square-foot facility will include private patient rooms, additional operating rooms, increased imaging capacity and special amenities designed to meet the needs of kids and families. The tower is located on East Marshall Street between 10th and 11th streets, completing an entire city block dedicated to caring for kids.
You too can leave your mark on the tower by signing a virtual beam at chrichmond.org/towerbeam. Tune in to the hospital’s Facebook page on May 19 at 6 p.m. to watch the final beam be lifted into place.