A tower with rooms for overnight stays for children is the next step in Erlanger Health System's rebuild of Children's Hospital.
Julie Taylor, president of the Erlanger Foundations, said it will be located across Third Street from the brand-new Children's Hospital Outpatient Center.
The community more than helped raise the money for that sparkling new facility, Ms. Taylor told members of the Civitan Club. The goal was to raise $28.5 million in a public "We Believe" campaign. A $5 million gift from the Jim Kennedy family of Kenco pushed the receipts to $30.5 million.
Erlanger put $11.5 million into the Kennedy Outpatient Center.
Ms. Taylor said some of the excess funds will help provide some special equipment for the center, including new radiation technology allowing a child to be x-rayed while standing up "instead of lying down on a cold table."
Another item will be a children's MRI along with an MRI simulator that helps the child become familiar with the equipment.
Ms. Taylor said the drive was by far the largest fundraising effort in Erlanger history. She said the previous top gift was $300,000.
She said there were over 6,000 donors, and it was a grassroots effort of mainly small donations that got the facility to a ground-breaking. She said after that some major gifts began to come in for the drive led by Grady Williams and the late Tom Edd Wilson.
The speaker said the facility features a Central of Georgia steam engine that was built the same year Erlanger came into being - 1891 - near the entryway.
There will be something on each floor to grab the attention of kids and keep their minds off their illnesses.
Those will include a secret garden with three-dimensional flowers and a fire truck cab on the second floor as well as a tow truck on the third floor.
The spacious, light-filled entry atrium will include soaring hang gliders overhead.
Ms. Taylor said, "There will be a lot of fun distractions."
She said the center has "a very efficient layout." There will be no doctor offices - just clinic space.