Guest Blog with Todd Johnson, VP Facilities

When I look at our Building Hope expansion, I’m amazed at how much progress we’ve made. Last year at this time, we were still excavating the site. Today, the building looks at first glance like it could open could next week – not next year – as exterior work is virtually complete.

While plenty of work remains, buttoning up the outside brings us to the halfway point of construction – a gratifying milestone for Seattle Children’s, our contractors (led by Sellen Construction) and the community. Now, we can focus on transforming the inside into the safest and most compassionate healing environment possible – starting with new cancer and critical care units and a new emergency department.

Being halfway through construction actually puts us well north of halfway in the overall scheme of things considering the years of planning and preparation that made construction possible. Hundreds – if not thousands – of staff, neighbors and consultants contributed their skills and thoughts to the project before we even broke ground.

As I walk through the structure today, it feels like I’ve been there before. Our use of integrated facility design and continuous process improvement produced a clear vision for the building based on the needs of staff, patients and families. Aided by numerous  mock-ups, we constantly refined our plans until we met all of our goals.  We also expect to meet the criteria for LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold status from the U.S. Green Building Council.

It’s my privilege to work with a great team with an important mission – to expand and improve care for children and families who need it most. As contractors build out the interior, our cancer, critical care and ED staff plan for moving day. It’s exciting to watch our Building Hope expansion come to life more and more, each day bringing us one step closer to just plain Hope.