We recently installed two benches outside the emergency entrance to Building Hope. That wouldn’t ordinarily be big news, but these are no ordinary benches. They’re lasting symbols of our commitment to sustainability and our appreciation for our supporters.
Dynamic New Building Creates Healing Environment – A Message from Susan Heath, Sr. VP, chief nursing officer
Building Hope’s journey from vision to reality is coming to an end. I’ll miss watching each step of the construction process unfold through my office window. But the end of construction is just the beginning of something even more exciting. In a few weeks, Seattle Children’s will welcome the first patients and families to the new building. This is what we’ve dreamed about and worked toward ever since we broke ground – and then some.
We can’t thank our neighbors enough for the cooperation and understanding they showed throughout this large and important project. When Building Hope opens its doors, we’ll be able to help more of the children who need us most – those who need cancer care, critical care and emergency care.
Seattle Children’s is a daily destination for hundreds of people. And the surrounding neighborhood is home to many more. As our campus grows, we’re committed to making local streets safer and providing more transportation choices for staff, families and our neighbors.
We recently completed work on a redesigned intersection at Sand Point Way NE and 40th Avenue NE – a busy spot where it wasn’t possible to safely walk or pedal from one side of Sand Point Way to the other. We also completed a new sidewalk and cycle path in front of the hospital along the east side of Sand Point Way that links up with the redesigned intersection.
The intersection includes a new traffic signal, left-turn lanes and crosswalks. The project improves traffic flow, protects pedestrians and cyclists and better connects the Laurelhurst neighborhood and Seattle Children’s on the east with the Bryant neighborhood and Burke-Gilman Trail on the west. The sidewalk and cycle path run from Penny Drive to 40th Avenue. The cycle path includes separate lanes in each direction.
You’ve heard of the dangers of distracted driving, but did you know that distracted walking can also be risky? A recent study by researchers at the University of Washington/Seattle Children’s Hospital shows it’s true. People using mobile devices for phoning, texting, or listening to music put themselves in harm’s way more often than pedestrians who are simply walking. Text messaging was the riskiest behavior. Pedestrians who were texting took longer to cross the street. They were also four times more likely to do unsafe things like failing to look both ways before crossing or disobeying traffic lights.
Putting the phone away while you are in motion is always the safest bet. If you must multitask while walking, don’t do so while you’re crossing the street.
Remember these basics:
- Do not exchange text messages when crossing the street.
- Obey traffic signals and cross at crosswalks.
- Remember to look left, right, and left again before crossing.
- Make eye contact with drivers in vehicles as you make your way across lanes.
- Keep your full attention on the task of crossing until you reach the other side.
- Model safe mobile device behavior for the children in your life. They learn by watching you. And talk about distraction and pedestrian safety with them.
You’re invited to help us celebrate Building Hope’s pending opening at a Community Open House and Family Fest on Saturday, March 16, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the main campus of Seattle Children’s in the Building Hope Tent.
Take a tour of the new building, check out a working ambulance and listen to local musician Johnny Bregar perform. Kids can bring their favorite stuffed animal for a check-up at the Teddy Bear Clinic. We’ll also fit children ages 1-18 for a free bike helmet.
We finished drilling three soil samples near the Burke-Gilman Trail on Feb. 28 , so we cancelled a second day of drilling previously scheduled for March 1. The drilling is part of the permitting and final design process for a new connection to the Burke Gilman Trail near the Hartmann Building. Improving access to the trail is a key goal of our Livable Streets Initiative, which supports the 20-year master plan for our campus approved by the Seattle City Council in 2010.
It was 12 years ago today that the Nisqually Earthquake rattled Seattle and caused injuries and damage across the Pacific Northwest. Earthquake safety and preparedness was very much on the minds of the planners, architects and engineers who designed Building Hope. The building is constructed to operate continuously in the event of a future temblor even stronger than the 6.8 Nisqually Earthquake – the big one scientists forecast to strike once every 500 years.
The building’s structural elements exceed even the super-stringent seismic codes developed by regulators in earthquake-prone California. We also invested about $2 million in bracing non-structural elements such as waste disposal lines, ceiling systems and lighting to ensure that these crucial components would remain in place during and after a major quake. If sometime in the future the ground beneath Seattle starts shaking, patients and their families can be assured that Building Hope will both remain standing and continue caring for patients with minimal interruption.
Work begins Friday, March 1, to demolish and replace the sidewalk on the north side of NE 45th Street between 40th Avenue NE and the plaza walk. The sidewalk will be closed until the project is complete sometime before March 12. Although NE 45th Street and the sidewalk on the south side of the street will remain open during construction, please proceed with caution in the area.
I travel a lot so I know a lot of ways to say goodbye – ciao, adios, peace out – but it’s never easy no matter what the language. This is my last day at Seattle Children’s before I start my next adventure. I’m sad to go but also excited because it means Building Hope is almost done.
I can’t believe it’s been almost two years since Sellen Construction invited me to join the crew working on the new building. Every day they sent me somewhere different on the construction site. I’ll never forget playing “Where’s Waldo?” with all the kids and families at the hospital. Do you remember spotting me perched on the construction crane? Or peeking out of the Port-A-Potty? Good times!
Thanks, Sellen, for asking me to be part of your team. I look pretty buff after all that construction work. Nobody’s laughing at my beanie now! And thanks, Children’s, for asking me to write about all the things I saw and people I met here. After all this blogging, I should write books. Psych! I’ve already have.
Before I go, I have a favor to ask all you Waldo fans. Keep an eye on things after I leave. There’s a good chance I’ll be back when Children’s starts its next construction project and I’ll want to know everything that happened while I was gone.
Adieu, sayonara, later dude. Waldo has left the building.
I’m literally counting the days until our pediatric and cardiac intensive care units (PICU and CCU) move to their new spaces in Building Hope. I write the number on a whiteboard outside my office every day. With less than two months to go, there’s a palpable sense of anticipation about working in the new units. Once we settle in, I’m sure we’ll discover it’s been worth the wait.
We’re excited for many reasons, but most of all because the move expands our capacity. Families from throughout the region count on us to provide lifesaving care for their children, but we don’t always have room. When that happens, we have to cancel surgeries, delay admissions or send children to other hospitals as far away as Portland. That’s unacceptable.