DALLAS — On Aug. 20, the Parkland Health and Hospital System opened the doors of a new $1.3 billion facility that replaces the old emergency room, which was built in 1954 and beginning to fall apart. The new facility is double the size of its predecessor and was designed to accommodate the growing population in the Dallas/Fort Worth region.
The hospital finished transferring all of its patients from the old emergency room to the new facility, where private and larger rooms were waiting for them. The move was completed on Aug. 22. This has been a long-awaited project, which was first discussed seven years ago after voters approved a bond package to fund construction.
With the newly finished building, Dallas County received a 2.8 million-square-foot, 826-bed facility on a 64-acre lot. All of the beds are in private rooms that include their own bathroom and space for family and visitors. The facility includes more than $80 million of newly upgraded digital technology. This makes the hospital one of the most advanced facilities currently in the country — a significant upgrade from the old hospital.
The new building, which was designed by locally based HDR + Corgan, is LEED Gold certified. One of its key features is the windows made from low-iron glass. The tinted-gray windows are covered with a digitally printed pattern consisting of donors’ names and outlines of trees. These digital covers also help to beat Texas heat. The windows make the hospital the largest digitally printed glass building in the world.
Parkland Health and Hospital System administrators and decision makers kept the community in mind during design and construction. They used responsible financial strategies to build a state-of-the-art hospital, while creating new local jobs. Responsible spending also allowed the hospital officials to invest money back into the community. Although bond proceeds primarily funded the hospital, it also included $150 million in philanthropic donations and almost $400 million in cash reserves.