Lee Memorial Health System is expanding their pediatric services at the HealthPark Medical Center campus with the groundbreaking of the new Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida facility.

Children in need of medical care will soon have access to a larger, full-service, state-of-the-art facility right here in Southwest Florida. Many children have to travel to Tampa or Miami to receive the specialized treatment they need, but once completed, this new facility will offer some relief and alleviate some of the travel stress burdening these families.

The Golisano Children’s Hospital is currently a 98-bed inpatient facility located within HealthPark Medical Center. The new stand-alone medical facility is being constructed adjacent to the existing hospital, connected by a concourse to the HealthPark atrium. The new building will support the hospital’s patient-centered care model, with everything from the decor, to the medical equipment being dedicated entirely to the unique medical needs of children, all within a family-friendly atmosphere.

This expansion will provide up to 62 additional patient rooms, 12 beds to the Chrissy Brown Hematology/Oncology Inpatient Unit, and provide additional private rooms in the NICU, Pediatric ICU, and Medical/Surgical Unit. It will provide children access to new state-of-the-art medical equipment and additional pediatric specialists. Careful consideration to the architecture, décor, and interior nature color scheme will help enhance the new space, additional playrooms, and a family resource center. The added amenities such as caregiver lounge areas and added patient/guest televisions with gaming connectivity will help to enhance the quality of life for these children and family members during their stay.

This past April at the groundbreaking ceremony, LMHS announced they will partner with Miami Children’s Hospital, which will allow seriously ill children to have even greater access to advanced medical care if needed. Through the use of telehealth technology, doctors and specialist can remotely work together, as if in the same room. Specialists in Miami will have instant access to patient information and images to determine if they need to be transferred for specialized care. This partnership opens so many more opportunities to get children the advanced medical care they need, and will help reduce unnecessary inconvenience and expense of traveling to another facility.

As the civil engineer for this significant project, our task was developing the site design around the new Golisano Children’s Hospital which includes additional parking areas, the relocation of the water and sewer utility infrastructure, creating a stormwater management and drainage plan, and providing a traffic analysis for the anticipated visitor influx, which includes the design of a new traffic signal at the intersection of Bass Road and North HealthPark Drive/Park Royal Drive.

What makes this project rather challenging is the new building is being constructed in the current parking area directly next to the existing hospital, which happens to be precisely where all the existing utility lines run for the current hospital.

Prior to the beginning of construction, parking areas have to be relocated to accommodate the new building, and a strategic plan finalized of how to relocate the vast network of utility lines while still maintaining service to the hospital at all times. Our surveying team used our Subsurface Utility Engineering (SUE) truck to locate and identify utility lines running around the Central Energy Plant (CEP) and in other key areas. The coordination efforts to relocate each utility line is essential, since they supply vital resources to the actively functioning hospital, down time is not an option. Each line must be rerouted individually, while still supplying the active hospital with their necessary resources. The execution of such an undertaking relies on strong coordination, communication, and teamwork. We are working cohesively with the LMHS administrators, Harvard Jolly Architects, FPK Architects, structural engineers, MEP engineers, and Skanska Gates, A Joint Venture, on vital matters that require seamless precision.

This project is extremely rewarding for all those involved, to realize we had a part in indirectly giving a child a better quality of life, or even better, saving a child’s life.

For more information on Johnson Engineering’s involvement in this project, contact Dana Hume, P.E. at [email protected]. If you are interested in supporting GOAL – Gift of a Lifetime Campaign for Children, which helps to ensure all children have access to quality healthcare close to home, please visit: www.childrenshospitalgoal.org for more information.