Akron Children's Hospital plans to invest $200 million in its plant over the next three years, which will be the organization's loftiest capital investment in more than two decades.
The centerpiece of the project will be a new critical care tower near the intersection of Locust and Exchange streets in downtown Akron. The tower will include a neonatal intensive care unit with private rooms, a new emergency department, outpatient surgical suites and a dedicated space for several of the hospital's pediatric subspecialty programs.
“It's a wonderful investment in our children. It's a wonderful investment in their future, and it builds on what has been playing out over the last 122 years,” said Bill Considine, who has been the hospital's president and CEO for the last 33 years.
Also, the $200 million investment includes an expansion of the Ronald McDonald House of Akron to accommodate the hospital's growth, a 1,200-space parking deck already under construction, and a new welcome center and “front door” for the hospital.
Mr. Considine said the hospital plans to pay for the project through a combination of public financing, philanthropy and the use of its internal reserves.
Next spring, Mr. Considine said the hospital plans to go to market with a $90 million or $100 million bond issue to support the project. The hospital also will use about $50 million from its internal reserves and raise an additional $50 million for the critical care tower and $10 million for the Ronald McDonald House expansion through philanthropy.
Mr. Considine cited the hospital's consistent growth over the last few decades and its desire to offer patients and their families a better experience as the primary drivers for the expansion.
The hospital's medical staff, for instance, has grown 72% since 1991. The hospital's emergency room, meanwhile, accommodates more than 60,000 visits each year in a space built to stomach about 44,000.