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LMHS Breaks Ground on New Children’s Hospital

Harvard Jolly Architecture/FKP Architects

Lee Memorial Health System officials break ground Tuesday on a new Children’s Hospital at the health system’s Healthpark campus in South Fort Myers.  

The new Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida will be a seven story facility connected to the currently existing Healthpark hospital.  “Currently we have 98 beds in the children’s hospital which is located within Healthpark Medical Center.  It’s on several floors that are kind of disconnected from each other within Healthpark,” said LMHS spokeswoman Mary Briggs.

“So what we’re breaking ground on is a new children’s tower where everything will be coordinated better together because they’ll all be in one comprehensive facility.  And it will have 128 beds upon opening and we will have the ability to expand that to 160 beds down the road.”

The ability to treat more pediatric patients means fewer kids will have to be transferred to facilities outside of Southwest Florida.  “It’s always heartbreaking to us that if we’re at capacity some of these children have to go to other hospitals like Miami or Tampa,” said Briggs.  “So this expansion is going to be able to keep those children closer to home and we’re very excited about that.”

The increased bed capacity will also mean more job opportunities in the future.

An ongoing campaign to raise money for construction is currently $18 million short of its $150 million goal.  Overall, the project comes with a $242 million price tag with the remainder of the funds provided through bond financing.

Construction is expected to take about three years.  The new children’s hospital is set to open in 2017.