Egleston Children’s Hospital, a subsidiary of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, filed a state application Monday for its proposed hospital in the Atlanta suburb of Brookhaven.
The $1.5 billion project for the North Druid Hills campus would be the largest hospital construction plan, in terms of cost, in the history of the Georgia certificate-of-need (CON) program, experts say. The application was preceded by a letter of intent to state regulators.
The Children’s plan to build a 446-bed pediatric hospital would include relocating beds and services from the current Egleston hospital, on Clifton Road in Atlanta. Health system officials said that visits to Children’s, including Egleston, are increasing faster than overall population growth, spurring the need for additional beds.
“Filing this CON is a significant milestone for developing a transformative health care campus that meets the needs of Georgia’s children,” Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Board Chair Jonathan Goldman said in a statement Monday. “Our rigorous planning process shows that Children’s must grow to continue to meet the vital needs of kids and their families in our state.”
The state CON process can be lengthy if a hospital project draws opposition. Most such objections come from potentially competing facilities. It’s unclear whether the planned 70-acre campus will be challenged, but no opposition has emerged thus far..
When completed, the DeKalb County campus will ultimately include the relocated hospital, support staff buildings, the Center for Advanced Pediatrics and more than 20 acres of greenspace and miles of walking trails and paths on and around the site.
Children’s said it’s committed to investing more than $40 million in traffic and infrastructure improvements.
“This hospital and the campus surrounding it – along with other key investments – are a vote of confidence in the future of Atlanta and Georgia, setting the stage for Children’s for decades to come,” said Children’s CEO Donna Hyland in a statement. “Georgia’s children will continue to need access to the kind of specialized pediatric care that only Children’s can provide.”
The planned hospital will include two patient bed towers, which include the AFLAC Cancer and Blood Disorders Center, neonatal intensive care units, pediatric intensive care units, and cardiac intensive care units. The hospital will feature larger rooms with sleep areas, windows with “healing views” and access to natural light.
The project’s price tag is $1.5 billion, including the cost of the hospital as well as the attached clinic and office building, central utility plant, hospital- and campus-related infrastructure and associated contingencies. The cost of the hospital itself remains $1.3 billion.
CON applications are reviewed by the Department of Community Health. Children’s anticipates a decision before the end of the year.
The North Druid Hills campus includes the Center for Advanced Pediatrics, scheduled to open next month, and two support buildings are currently under construction.
Completion of the support buildings in 2020 will allow Children’s employees to vacate their current offices on the site of the planned hospital, allowing construction to begin.
The North Druid Hills hospital is scheduled to open in 2025.