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VCU Health System plans to build $350 million children’s hospital

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Virginia Commonwealth University Health System has announced plans to build a $350 million inpatient children’s hospital in downtown Richmond adjacent to its outpatient Children’s Pavilion.

The facility will include 86 licensed beds and six observation beds relocated from the health system’s Main Hospital, with the capacity to increase to about 125 beds. The new building will connect to the outpatient Children’s Pavilion, which opened in March 2016, according to Pamela Lepley, the university’s vice president for university relations. The new inpatient children’s hospital will be built on the site of the former outpatient Children’s Pavilion, located on East Marshall Street, between 10th and 11th streets.

Construction for the new building is expected to be underway this spring, and the facility should be complete by the end of 2022.

“A comprehensive Children’s Pavilion that is designed in partnership with children’s health-care providers from across the region and state, as well as with families, will give all children a focus of hope during what may be the most difficult journey of their lives,” Dr. Marsha Rappley, CEO of the VCU Health System, said in a statement.

VCU and Bon Secours Richmond health systems were once part of an effort to bring an independent children’s hospital to the River City. Those plans fell through in 2015 when both health systems pulled out of the proposal because they deemed it too financially risky.

The project will complete VCU Health System’s Children’s Pavilion as a facility for children’s inpatient and outpatient care. The new facility will replace the existing pediatric inpatient unit with private rooms and also will provide new operating rooms, imaging capacity, emergency services and family amenities.

The health system seeks to become one of the top 20 children’s hospitals in the United States, according to a news release.

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