The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia Breaks Ground for Advanced Research Facility at Former Civic Center Site; Ruth and Tristram Colket Are Honored for Their Long-Time Commitment to Children's Hospital


PHILADELPHIA, June 2 /PRNewswire/ -- The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia announced plans today for continued expansion with a ceremonial groundbreaking for an eight-story research building dedicated to translational research -- translating basic science research into real-life treatments and cures.

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This building represents the first phase of development on an eight-acre portion of the former Philadelphia Civic Center site, now called Children's Hospital's South Campus Research Complex.

The ceremonial groundbreaking honored Ruth M. and Tristram C. Colket, Jr., hospital board trustees, in appreciation of their recent gift to Children's Hospital.

"Ruth and Tristram Colket's recent gift of $25 million has given an enormous boost to the advancement of research at Children's Hospital which will help to fund our new research building on our south campus," said Steven M. Altschuler, M.D., president and chief executive officer of Children's Hospital. "With more than 30 years of support, Ruth and Tristram Colket have given more than $35 million to help ensure that Children's Hospital remains the preeminent pediatric institution in this country and the world."

The Hospital's light-filled atrium today bears their name, as does the lobby of the Leonard and Madlyn Abramson Pediatric Research Center. Their philanthropy has fostered continued research through two endowed chairs, one for pediatric surgery and another in pediatric nursing.

"The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia provides us the greatest opportunity to make a difference in the lives of children," said Ruth and Tristram Colket. "This new research building will help ensure a healthier future for the children of tomorrow."

"Our goal is to advance the health of children by turning scientific discovery into medical innovation," said Philip R. Johnson, M.D., chief scientific officer at Children's Hospital. "This state-of-the-art facility enables Children's Hospital to recruit top-level researchers by providing the space, equipment and technology required to advance pediatric medicine. Children's Hospital will be poised to be the preeminent institution conducting translational research for the benefit of children."

This $400 million, 558,000-square-foot research building comprises eight stories -- four new laboratory floors, administration and conference space, and a two-story ground floor housing a lobby and cafeteria. There are an additional four stories below grade consisting of infrastructure and laboratory support space. To accommodate future growth, there is potential to expand the building to 22 stories.

"Ruth and Tristram Colket's continued support has made possible a significant leap forward in the Hospital's facilities with this newest research building," added Dr. Altschuler. "With this addition, we are moving toward our goal of doubling the size of our existing research space."

Scope of New Construction

The South Campus Research Complex comprises nearly eight acres of land directly across from the Hospital's current clinical and research facilities. Once complete, Children's Hospital's South Campus will house a state-of-the-art translational research facility which includes a central utility plant to support the entire Children's Hospital campus, underground parking and garage, and an ambulatory building with outpatient care, day medicine, day surgery and imaging, as well as enhanced amenities for patients, families and employees. Total facility development is estimated at $845 million and could total more than one million square feet. Projected completion is yet to be determined.

Principal architectural and engineering consultants for the South Campus Research Complex include:

Architect: Ballinger Mechanical / Electrical Engineer: Bard, Rao + Athanas Consulting Engineers, LLC Structural Engineer: LeMessurier Consultants Civil Engineer: Pennoni Associates, Inc. Laboratory Planner: GPR Planners Collaborative, Inc. Construction Manager: Turner Construction Company

The tremendous growth of the Hospital's clinical and research programs have required dramatic expansion of its physical facilities. In 2001, Children's Hospital embarked on a 10-year, $1.5 billion expansion program, which will double the size of the Main Campus when complete. Completed projects include:

-- South Tower; 332,000 square feet: Seven inpatient floors consisting of private rooms and expanded play space to help ease the hospital stay for patients and their families, and an expanded Emergency Department which includes new trauma rooms and treatment bays, and a larger emergency room transport department. Facility completed and opened. -- Leonard and Madlyn Abramson Pediatric Research Center; 122,000 square feet: Ten additional floors of basic and clinical lab space. Facility completed and opened. -- Hospital Facade: Children's Hospital's exterior renovation will provide a covered drop-off area for patients and families and will improve energy efficiencies. 95% complete. -- West Tower: 300,000 square feet: Expansions of the Newborn/Infant Center, the Center for Fetal Diagnosis and Treatment, The Cardiac Center, additional state-of-the-art operation rooms, clinical labs, radiology and administrative faculty space. Phased-in occupancy between 2006 and 2009.

The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia was founded in 1855 as the nation's first pediatric hospital. Through its long-standing commitment to providing exceptional patient care, training new generations of pediatric healthcare professionals and pioneering major research initiatives, Children's Hospital has fostered many discoveries that have benefited children worldwide. Its pediatric research program is among the largest in the country, ranking second in National Institutes of Health funding. In addition, its unique family-centered care and public service programs have brought the 430-bed hospital recognition as a leading advocate for children and adolescents. For more information, visit .

Media Contact: Rachel Salis-Silverman 267-426-6063