OLOL Children’s Hospital could break ground by year’s end

Our Lady of the Lake has released new renderings and details about its long-planned Children’s Hospital, which will be located on a 60-acre tract of hospital-owned property that runs parallel to Interstate 10 between Essen Lane and Bluebonnet Boulevard.

In a statement released this morning, the hospital says it is getting ready to submit plans to the East Baton Rouge Parish Planning Commission that will detail the proposed project, which could break ground by December. As currently envisioned, the Children’s Hospital will include inpatient beds, an emergency room, surgical unit and a dedicated hematology/oncology unit that will be affiliated with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis. Plans also include development of a connected medical office building.

Details about the square footage of the proposed buildings are not yet available. Preliminary estimates, however, suggest the total project cost will be around $200 million. Fundraising is already under way.

“While there are many steps that must be completed over the next six to eight months before we can finalize our vision, we are excited to share an exterior rendering and project update,” says OLOL Chief Operating Officer Terrie Sterling. “At this point in the process, we are finalizing the design of the hospital and will soon begin construction documents.”

Plans for a freestanding Children’s Hospital at OLOL have been in the works for several years. OLOL acquired the site for the proposed facility in 2008. It is an undeveloped parcel near I-10 behind the Jacobs Engineering Building. OLOL plans to submit site plans to the Planning Commission in September. Prior to that, it will hold a community meeting to gain public input and also reach out to nearby businesses to discuss the project and the impact it will have on the area.

Construction on the hospital is expected to take two years. A target opening date is some time in 2018. Once completed, the facility will greatly expand OLOL’s ability to care for pediatric patients. The existing Children’s Hospital, located within the hospital’s main building on Essen Lane, is just one floor of the main tower. It treats 100,000 patients annually from across Louisiana Mississippi and Texas.

See a rendering of the Children’s Hospital.

—Stephanie Riegel

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