By Eric Althoff
JACKSON, Miss.—Brasfield & Gorrie, a general contracting firm, and the University of Mississippi Medical Center—both located in Jackson—together announced that they have topped out the Blair E. Batson Hospital for Children expansion, located on the university’s main campus.
“The project will allow UMMC to care for many more patients,” Brasfield & Gorrie Vice President and Division Manager Ed Hauser said in a statement regarding the topping out, which means that the building’s framework is now complete. “We are honored to play a role in expanding healthcare coverage for Mississippi families.”
The Blair E. Batson Hospital for Children is being constructed next to the University of Mississippi Medical Center. The children’s hospital will feature 355,303 square feet of medical space in a new seven-story tower. The new construction will host the Children’s Heart Center and will also offer a neonatal intensive care unit (ICU) with private rooms and pediatric intensive care rooms, surgical suites, imaging center designed for children and also an outpatient specialty clinic.
When completed, which is estimated to be in the fall of 2020, the new tower will be able to handle a complement of 30 percent to 40 percent more outpatient treatments than at present, as well as 40 percent more surgeries. Guy Giesecke, the CEO of Children’s of Mississippi—the organization that includes Batson Children’s Hospital and all UMMC pediatric care facilities—estimates that this addition will also increase twofold patient access to imaging services.
Brasfield & Gorrie is also building an adjacent five-level parking garage designed to hold 517 cars. Construction of the parking garage will likely conclude next summer, the firm estimates.
The Blair E. Batson Hospital for Children is the largest construction project in the state of Mississippi, according to Brasfield & Gorrie CEO Jim Gorrie, who also noted during the topping out that over 90 percent of the construction work has so far been undertaken by local contractors.
Brasfield & Gorrie, which is managing the construction project, has also worked on other projects in the Magnolia State such as the new Westin Jackson and the mixed-use District at Eastover in downtown Jackson. Modern Healthcare ranked Brasfield & Gorrie the No. 1 contractor in healthcare construction in 2018 based on national revenue figures.