Build-out begins on final floors of Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt expansion

Oct 08, 2023 at 08:50 pm by Staff

(photo by Erin O. Smith)


By Christina Echegaray

Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt continues to grow to new heights.

As part of the ongoing four-floor expansion of Monroe Carell, a temporary crane alongside the pediatric facility’s building signifies a move toward the final phases of the project.

Crews have started to build out the final two floors — 12 and 14 — of the expansion, which began in 2016. Construction is expected to last at least 16 months. Once complete, Monroe Carell will have 401 licensed beds and will have a footprint that is more than 1 million square feet.

“Seeing the crane, and then buck hoist, go up on the side of our building is an exciting step toward the culmination of this multiyear project to bring even more comprehensive, compassionate care to the children and families of Middle Tennessee and beyond,” said Meg Rush, MD, MMHC, President of Monroe Carell.

“We are thrilled to enter this next chapter in our health care journey to provide hope and healing to families. I am so grateful to our health care teams for their continued commitment and dedication to care for all children who need us. And we certainly could not do what we do every day without the unwavering support of our community partners.”

The 14th floor is slated to be completed and opened in late 2024. The 12th floor is expected to open about six months later, in 2025.

Initially, the 38-bed 14th floor will be occupied by adults with low-acuity medical/surgical care needs from Vanderbilt University Hospital and will be used to alleviate significant demand for inpatient beds while the adult hospital constructs the new tower building.

All rooms on the 14th floor will be built with intensive care unit capability should Monroe Carell need additional critical care capacity. VUH will occupy the floor until about 2027, when future pediatric use plans for the floor are expected to include additional neonatal intensive care beds, a chronic respiratory unit and critical care beds.

The 12th floor, which also has 38 beds, will include neonatal intensive care, acute care and a clinical research unit.

The tremendous population growth across Middle Tennessee has meant continued, increased demand for pediatric health care services as more families move to the area. From the initial opening of the hospital in 2004, an expansion in 2012 and to the current four-floor project, Monroe Carell beds have been full almost as quickly as they have opened. More than 1,800 children are cared for daily in clinical and hospital spaces, both on and off campus.

Foresight from the engineers who constructed the original building made it possible for Monroe Carell’s current four-floor expansion to be built on top of the existing facility.

To support the building’s expansion, Monroe Carell launched the Growing to New Heights Campaign in 2014, a $40 million philanthropic effort that exceeded its fundraising goal. The cornerstone of the campaign was a $10 million gift from Kathryn Carell Brown, Julie Carell Stadler, Edie Carell Johnson and their families. They are the daughters of the building’s namesake, Monroe Carell Jr., and Ann Scott Carell. The Ann Scott Carell Pavilion, which spans each of the expansion floors, recognizes the enduring impact of the family’s matriarch.

“When this project started seven years ago, I never imagined the continued growing demand for pediatric care in our region. Almost as quickly as our beds have opened, they’ve been occupied. This expansion allows us to continue to serve even more families who need us,” Rush said. “We are thankful for the passionate vision that Monroe Carell Jr. had two decades ago for taking care of children in our community and for the continued commitment of Kathryn, Julie and Edie and their families.”