National and local officials of Shriners Hospitals for Children Wednesday announced plans to build a $47 million replacement hospital on the campus of Washington University School of Medicine.
Officials will break ground March 20 on the facility, which will replace the current 50-year-old hospital located in Frontenac. This will be the third facility for Shriners Hospitals for Children in St. Louis, having originally opened in 1924. (The original building is still in use today by Washington University and is located at the corner of Euclid and Clayton.)
The new facility will be located on 3.75 acres the hospital purchased from Washington University on the BJC Healthcare campus. The property, 4400 Clayton Avenue, is currently being used as a parking lot.
The Joint Board of Directors and Trustees for Shriners Hospitals for Children approved building a 90,000 square foot replacement facility in November 2012.
“This is truly a win-win opportunity for Shriners Hospitals for Children, Washington University School of Medicine and, more importantly, the children we treat,” said Douglas E. Maxwell, chairman of the Board of Trustees for the hospital network.
The move is expected to further enhance clinical care and research collaborations with Washington University School of Medicine, with which Shriners has had a long-standing partnership since the early 1920s. Most of the hospital’s medical staff – 35 physicians, including Chief of Staff Perry L. Schoenecker, M.D. – are Washington University faculty physicians.
“The closer Shriners Hospital is to the resources of not only Washington University School of Medicine but also St. Louis Children’s Hospital as well other BJC facilities and services, the more effective we can be in providing care to our children and more fully collaborate in the research and education that is the hallmark of the medical center,” said Ted Dearing, chairman of the hospital’s Board of Governors.
Plans for the new hospital include 12 inpatient beds, three surgical suites, and 18 clinic examination rooms. It also features enhanced space for its clinical research center for metabolic bone diseases and more room for same-day surgery patients. Other additions to benefit patients are nine rooms for outpatient family housing, a state of the art interactive and educational activity area and dedicated space for collaborative research with Washington University scientists.
“We expect this replacement hospital will provide the nation’s leading providers of pediatric orthopaedic care an ideal place to care for their patients, conduct their research, and educate the surgeons of the future,” said John Gloss, administrator. “Ultimately, we want this facility to help us continue to attract the best and brightest physicians and clinic staff in pediatric care, in providing state-of-the-art care efficiently, with a keen eye toward quality, patient safety and patient satisfaction.
“Each Shriner’s goal is to bring childhood back to kids with severe and complicated orthopaedic conditions,” Gloss said. “We are thrilled that a new facility will be part of their noble mission.”
The hospital has retained two local firms in the planning and construction of this new facility: architectural firm Christner designed the facility, and S. M. Wilson & Co. has been retained as the construction management firm.
Officials at S. M. Wilson report that the facility has a 20-month construction schedule and is expected to employ 100 tradesmen with 350,000 man hours.