Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU ‘tops off’ $400M new wing

Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU set the final steel beam into place for its upcoming expansion during a topping off ceremony Wednesday. (Courtesy of Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU)

The Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU reached a milestone this week on the construction of its 500,000-square-foot expansion at 1001 E. Marshall St.

It held a topping out ceremony Wednesday to commemorate the placement of the final steel beam atop the 16-story structure.

An add-on to the neighboring Children’s Pavilion that opened in 2016 at 1000 E. Broad St., the new wing of the children’s hospital is expected to open in spring 2023 at a cost of $400 million.

That’s up from initial cost estimates of $350 million when the project was announced in 2019. The price tag rose to add operating rooms, amenities and imaging facilities.

The 72-bed expansion will also feature private rooms, inpatient units, a pediatric trauma center and a helipad.

Inpatient pediatrics programs currently located in VCU Health’s Main Hospital at 1250 E. Marshall St. will be moved into the tower. The tower project includes an above-street bridge connection to the Main Hospital.

More than 500 people are expected to work in the new tower.

DPR Construction is the contractor on the project. HKS Architects designed it. JLL is the project manager.

“(This facility is) a place where passion and purpose will come together every day to improve the lives of children from our communities and beyond. For some that will mean care closer to home  and for others it will mean a visit to Richmond for a care team and facility that’s worth the drive or flight,” hospital CEO Elias Neujahr said in remarks delivered remotely for the event.

The Children’s Hospital Foundation has been fundraising through its Built for Kids capital campaign to cover $100 million of the cost of the new facility. It’s about halfway to its goal. The other $300 million comes by way of VCU Health’s revenues and reserves.

VCU and VCU Health President Michael Rao and Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney also shared remarks remotely during the event.

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