Architect/Contractor Selected By Erlanger For New Children's/Women's Hospital

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

HKS has been selected as the architect and McCarthy as the construction manager for a new Children’s and Women’s Hospital at the Erlanger campus on East Third Street.

The Atlanta team competed against another Atlanta group for the major construction project.

Erlanger officials announced Monday that $11.5 million is being set aside in a debt restructuring for the new $30 million facility. Erlanger is seeking philanthropic help to complete the ambitious project.

Erlanger President and CEO Kevin Spiegel said he will host the local movie premiere of “Louder than Words” on Thursday, Oct. 30, at the Majestic Theater -  at no charge to the Chattanooga community.

Erlanger officials said, "Following a national search, including interviews with 25 firms, Erlanger selected two teams for consideration to plan, design and build the first phase of a major campus revitalization at its downtown campus on E. Third Street.  Both teams spent considerable time in Chattanooga.  Following their visits, a team from Erlanger spent two days at each of their respective Atlanta offices."

Mr. Spiegel said,  “This entire process consummated in a unique opportunity for each team to share its early vision of the 'Re-Imagined Erlanger' campus with the local community earlier this month.”

Erlanger’s selection team used this month-long process, along with feedback from the community, to reach a decision in selecting the team of HKS and McCarthy as their partners for this transformational process, according to Erlanger Project Executive Bruce Komiske.

He said HKS has an international reputation for designing world-class hospitals, having planned over 184 million square feet of healthcare facilities, including 30 million square feet of children’s hospitals.  The firm has been in business for 75 years, with the last 35 years dedicated to children’s healthcare projects.

 McCarthy, an employee-owned company, is celebrating 150 years in business and was recognized by Modern Healthcare as the nation’s number one healthcare contractor, with $3.3 billion in annual billings, including $2.5 billion in children’s and women’s facilities and more than 800 hospitals.

“While statistics are important, the driving factor in our decision was the chemistry that the Erlanger team developed with HKS/McCarthy’s key players selected for our Children’s and Women’s building project,” Mr. Komiske said. “They displayed a unique passion both for Chattanooga and Erlanger that clearly indicated this project was not just another commission.”

HKS/McCarthy will be working out of its Atlanta office, however, the team will also establish a design studio on the Erlanger campus.  “They also recognize the critical need to keep as much of the work and dollars spent on the project in Chattanooga and are committed, along with Erlanger, to develop a plan that will assure the community that this will be a priority,” Mr. Komiske said.

Area residents interested in meeting the winning design team are invited to attend the special Chattanooga premiere showing of the movie “Louder than Words.”  Tickets to the film are free and can be obtained by sending an RSVP to www.louderscreening.eventbrite.com  The real-life couple who were the inspiration for this film will also be attending the Chattanooga movie premiere.

 “Louder than Words” is a Hollywood production based on the real life story of a child who died from rabies and how his parents, John and Brenda Fareri, and their triplets, deal with her death by creating a new children’s hospital in their community.

 “What makes this movie relevant to Erlanger and Chattanooga,” noted Mr. Komiske, “is that the original hospital featured in this movie, Westchester Medical Center, was a public, safety net hospital with the same services, programs and specialists as Erlanger, but the facilities were lacking.” 

“Westchester Medical Center had no history of philanthropy and had to create a grass roots campaign to make a new children’s hospital a reality – just as Erlanger is preparing to do,” said Mr. Spiegel, who served as COO of Westchester Medical Center at the time this building project was launched.  “They were successful in creating a children’s hospital that has become a model for healing environments around the world, and has had to expand three times since opening 10 years ago,” Mr. Spiegel said.

The couple portrayed in the movie, John Fareri (who was played by David Ducovny) and Brenda Fareri (played by Hope Davis) will join those attending the Chattanooga premiere and be on hand to discuss the challenges they faced, along with Mr. Spiegel.   Members of the winning design/construction team will also be at the Majestic Theater Thursday with artistic renderings of their plans, and be available for questions and feedback from attendees.


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