Construction Updates


Teaching Garden Sprouts on Helipad Site

ayden_digs_webkirsten_radish_webCopy of ayden_picking_webAway flew the helipad and up popped a pea patch.

Children are learning to raise vegetables where emergency airlifts once landed in a teaching garden started by Children’s dietitian Kirsten Thompson. 

Thompson, whose master’s thesis was about gardening with kids, began looking for a place to plant a teaching garden when she joined Children’s in 2008. The opportunity finally arrived this spring when the Forest zone expansion – a.k.a. Building Hope – was completed and the helipad moved to a site near our new Emergency Department. 

This summer, Children’s patients like Ayden Mages tended the garden for an hour every Wednesday before heading inside with their families to prepare garden-inspired meals. The goal is to encourage and empower kids and families to eat healthy. 

The local Whole Food store brings groceries each week to supplement what the garden provides. After families cook, they take the leftover groceries and all they can harvest from the garden so they can prepare nutritious meals at home. 

Thompson was working with Ayden, 9, to help him control his high blood pressure when she invited him to lend a hand in the garden. “I like planting, watering, thinning and weeding,” Ayden says. “It’s been fun to learn this stuff.”

Although Ayden likes growing veggies better than eating them, he eats more of them since he started working in the garden. “He realizes now where vegetables come from and he at least tries them,” says his mom, Trisha.

The garden is a communal effort. A master gardener from the community designed the garden, volunteers built the beds and the Bloom for Children’s Guild maintains it on the days kids don’t.

In addition, a number of Thompson’s colleagues at Children’s helped her get the project off the ground, including Polly Lenssen, director of Nutrition, Jeff Hughes, manager of Grounds and Sustainability, Randy Katzenberg, groundskeeper, and Rachel Tefft, nutrition fellow.

Good growing, everyone!





Night Work Necessary to Make Bike Lane Safer

Penny Drive - night workThe bike lane on Penny Drive is getting a facelift that will make it safer by making it more visible. The entire surface is being coated with a reflective green compound. A white version of the same compound will be used to restripe all Penny Drive crosswalks. 

Work will take place Saturday, Aug. 17, and Sunday, Aug. 18, between 10 p.m. and 8 a.m. It’s necessary to work at night because the compound won’t adhere to the pavement if the ambient temperature is above 75 degrees. The equipment used to apply the compound will generate a small amount of noise – measured at 85 to 90 decibels right at the machine.

Besides improving Penny Drive’s bike lane and crosswalks, we’re upgrading pedestrian lighting and trimming foliage that obscures signs and connections to pathways. 

 Thanks for your patience while we complete this important project. For any questions or comments, please call 206.987.2030.

Return Of The Blog: Stay Tuned

013013_547 BVHAfter a brief hiatus following Building Hope’s opening, the Construction Blog is cranking up again. Look for regular postings to resume in the near future as we share important news about future events and projects at Seattle Children’s  – including plans for remodeling spaces that were vacated by units that moved to Building Hope.



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Nunes-Ueno Appears in Cycling Video

Bike breakfast 2 Bike breakfast 1Our own Paulo Nunes-Ueno, director of transportation and sustainability, appears in a video filmed for the annual Bike to Work Breakfast on May 2 benefitting the Cascade Bicycle Club Education Foundation. Seattle Children’s was a sponsor of the event, which raised $103,000 to help create a better community through bicycling.

The video is titled “Three Stories From the Road.” During his scene, Nunes-Ueno talks about Children’s efforts to reduce vehicle traffic by encouraging people to use alternative forms of transportation such as cycling. He also describes our investment to make it safer to bike in the neighborhood around the hospital through our Livable Streets Initiative. “I’ve got the best job where I get to encourage people to discover cycling and I get to work to make cycling safer and more attractive,” Nunes-Ueno says.

Whew! Wow! And Thanks!

RB AYA 1There’s only one thing left to say after the safe and successful opening of Building Hope last week: Whew! Or maybe: Wow! And: Thanks!

Patients from our Cancer Care, Pediatric Intensive Care and Cardiac Intensive Care units completed a smooth move into bright and shiny spaces in the Forest zone on April 21 while our new and improved Emergency Department – complete with its own radiology center – opened its doors right on schedule at 7 a.m. on April 23.

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New ED Opens Doors This Morning

New ED Exterior 1 New ED Interior New ED Interior 2 New ED Exterior 2Two days after cancer and intensive care patients moved into the top floors of Building Hope, our new Emergency Department opened at 7 a.m. today (April 23) on the ground floor of the building – designated as the Forest zone in our new way finding system. The helistop also moved to a new site in the southwest corner of the Forest zone parking area.

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Simulated Shifts Provide Invaluable Experience

ED 1 ED 3Baseball teams hold spring training to get ready for opening day and the many games ahead. We did the same thing to prepare for the April 21 opening of Building Hope and the many years to come.

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Here’s The Lowdown On The Move-In

Transport_webThe last step in Building Hope’s journey is the most important one. In little more than a week, we will move the first patients into the new building – designated the Forest zone in our new wayfinding system. We began preparing for the move a year ago and are excited to share details of our plan to ensure a safe and smooth transition.

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Intense Preparations Ensure Safe Opening

simteam_web roleplay_web

Don’t let the peaceful scene outside Building Hope fool you. As the calendar brings us closer to the day we welcome the first patients into the Forest zone on April 21st, the inside is buzzing with activity. We began setting up, moving in, testing and training on March 1 and won’t stop until we’ve done everything necessary to provide safe care from day one.

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Access To Patios Restored

Play area 4 play area 2

The completion of Building Hope means we can open the exterior doors that were closed for safety during construction. We’re restoring access to patios outside the Family Resource Center on River 7, the Starbucks on River 3 and various staff lounges. The play area outside the playroom on Mountain 4 is also open. Thanks your patience while access to exterior spaces was restricted. Now get out there and enjoy spring!