Several years ago, when the economy was absolutely tanking, the Shriners Hospital for Children took a terrible financial beating. To be exact, it lost 25 percent of its entire portfolio—a loss in excess of $2 billion.
Plans to build on property near the Washington University Medical campus were put on the back burner. The dream was rapidly fading away.
The doctors at Shriners Hospital had to make do with an aging building in Frontenac, almost 50 years old.
But in life, what goes around comes around.
Announcing to the public
Before a packed audience of Shriners, doctors, medical staff, media, patients and guests, the Shriners local and national announced plans to build a $47 million replacement hospital at 4400 Clayton Avenue, visible to Highway I-64.
This will be the third facility for Shriners Hospital for Children in St. Louis, where the first opened its doors in 1924, just two blocks from the newest location.
Groundbreaking is less than a month away. Shovels will hit dirt on March 20. The new facility will be located on a 3.75 acres of land purchased from Washington University on the BJC Healthcare campus.
- A building that will be situated on the southeast corner in order to have the best traffic flow, and to be highly visible from the highway.
- A private exit that will help patients leave without having to go through the entrance lobby
- Three floors of rehabilitation space, surgical suites, rooms for families to stay and research space.
"This is truly a win-win opportunity for the Shriners Hospital 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.
Christner Architects have designed a magnificent building and SM
Wilson will construct the building over the course of 20 months. Wilson built the new Childhood Education Center for the Ladue School District.
The new hospital will be located in the Cortex Research District of Washington University. At the same time, MoDOT is rebuilding bridges and entrance ways along I-64, making access to the hospital all that much easier.
Everything is designed with children and families in mind. The lobby, stretching the width of the entire first floor will have a playful squishy floor, and when children walk on the floor, the lights will constantly change. Family visitor areas include game rooms, lounges, casual dining and many comforts to ease the burden of being away from home.
Shriners Hospital for Children had to wait a few extra years to get this project off the ground. When March 20 arrives, the first of many giant steps will have been taken.
The attached video is with Katie Ladlie, a patient ambassador and 14-year-old student from the Troy Buchanan School District who has been coming to Shriners Hospital for Children since she was 2 years old.