First phase of new beds expected in 2013
April 5 — A three-year planning process came to an end today — or, rather, a beginning. The Seattle City Council voted to approve Seattle Children’s growth plans, providing the nearly at-capacity 250-bed hospital the ability to add an additional 350 beds in four phases over the next 20 years.
“This is a monumental day for Children’s and we thank the City Council for their hard work and dedication to the well-being and health of our region’s children,” said Dr. Thomas Hansen, CEO at Children’s. “We have been operating at high-capacity levels for more than a year and this expansion means that as our region continues to grow, Seattle Children’s can adequately grow along with it.”
The Council’s decision builds upon the recommendations of the Department of Planning and Development and the Citizens Advisory Committee and is in line with the historic agreement reached last month between Children’s and Laurelhurst Community Club. Children’s opened its Northeast Seattle campus in 1953 and has worked closely with neighbors over the years to minimize the impact of the hospital’s growth. Prior to the agreement, Children’s revised its Master Plan several times to help mitigate the impact of its future growth on the neighborhood.
Serving the largest landmass of any children’s hospital in the country (Washington, Alaska, Montana and Idaho), Children’s had more than 290,000 patient visits and provided more than $96 million in un- and under-compensated care for children whose families lacked the ability to pay last year.
Jobs, Economic Development Highlighted as Children’s Plans for Phase I of its Expansion
Planning to build the first phase of development has begun in earnest and once construction starts in early 2011, it will mean hundreds of jobs for a struggling regional construction industry.
“This is an unprecedented economic climate for the construction trades industry,” said King County Labor Council President David Freiboth. “The hundreds of jobs provided by Children’s expansion is one of the largest opportunities on the horizon. The expansion of Children’s is not just about jobs, however; it’s about expanding an institution that saves children’s lives in our city and across the state. We’re proud to be supporters of this effort and applaud the Council for their commitment to Children’s growth plans.”
“Children’s expansion will create job growth and economic activity, but even more importantly, it ensures the continuation of top-notch care for children in the city of Seattle,” said Greater Seattle Chamber of Commerce President Phil Bussey. “Seattle City Council should be applauded for ensuring Seattle Children’s can grow here in Seattle and within a timeframe that prevents the hospital from further capacity constraints.”
To learn more about Seattle Children’s expansion plans, visit: http://masterplan.seattlechildrens.org/mimp_docs.aspx.