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BIRMINGHAM — Children’s of Alabama broke ground today on construction of a parking deck and office building on the 1600 block of Fourth Avenue South.
In August Children’s Board of Trustees approved the construction of a 12-story parking deck that will provide 1,500 parking spaces and will be located between 16th and 17th streets on the Children’s campus. The lot was used for surface parking for Children’s employees. Once construction is completed in Spring 2019, a six-story, 115,000-square foot office building will be on the Fourth Avenue side of the project and will house non-clinical support services, many of which have been located off Children’s main campus since construction began on the Benjamin Russell Hospital for Children building in 2008.
Brasfield & Gorrie is serving as the construction manager and Williams Blackstock Architects as the architect for the project, which is estimated to cost $54 million for construction.
“This project will help to relieve parking congestion on our campus,” said Mike McDevitt, Children’s Executive Vice President for Facilities. “By adding this much-needed parking for staff, we can also dedicate space closer to the hospital itself for our patients’ families and visitors. There are many days, especially during cold and flu season, when our current parking is, quite frankly, inadequate.
“Likewise, we expect the project to allow us to bring the more than 200 staff members currently housed off-site back to campus, and, we hope, continue to contribute to the outstanding growth of Birmingham’s Parkside District.”
In preparation for the project construction, the existing parking lot was vacated and a warehouse razed. The parking deck and office building will be connected via a pedestrian bridge across 4th Avenue South to Children’s existing Park Place building and serve as a connector to all of Children’s Russell Campus facilities. The new construction will be served by Children’s existing Central Energy Plant (CEP) at the corner of 16th Street South and Fourth Avenue South.
“We are pleased our Board of Trustees has committed to a project that will complete the Children’s campus and put us in the position to respond to the healthcare needs of Alabama’s children and their families for the next 10 to 20 years,” said Mike Warren, Children’s CEO and President.
“Just five short years ago, Children’s completed our new facility, The Benjamin Russell Hospital for Children,” said Walker Jones, Chair of Children’s Board of Trustees. “This impressive facility helped to change the Birmingham skyline and to reaffirm our commitment to downtown and the Medical Center District, and, in our opinion, became one of the catalysts helping to spur growth in the Parkside District.”
Children’s campus facilities total more than 2 million square feet, making it the third largest pediatric medical facility in the country. In 2016, there were more than 676,000 outpatient visits and more than 15,000 inpatient admissions at Children’s.