Ground breaks on new Wolfson Children's Critical Care Tower

$16M, 7-story tower will include 75-bed neonatal intensive care center

By Lena Pringle - Reporter/Anchor

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Changes are coming to Wolfson Children's Hospital to make it easier for patients and visitors to get around. Baptist Health broke ground Tuesday on Wolfson Children's Critical Care Tower.

The Baptist Jacksonville Entry Building/Wolfson Children’s Critical Care Tower is designed to make it easy for patients and visitors to find their way anywhere in the medical center. 

The new $16 million, 7-story tower will include a high-level 75-bed neonatal intensive care center. It will also feature a 26-bed pediatric intensive care unit.

"The timing couldn't be more perfect. We presently have a 56-bed NICU and it's at capacity almost every day," said Michael Mayo, president of Baptist Medical Center Jacksonville. "And with the growing numbers of women in child-bearing years within our greater area, more and more children are being born so to have these kind of facilities close by to our women's center is extremely important."

Nighttime rendering of new tower

This new building will also increase visibility and accessibility from Interstate 95. 

"For our community it raises that visibility from I-95 and all points within Duval County to get here and you can visualize where you need to enter the campus," Mayo said. 

To enhance convenience and safety, the tower will link to a new multi-level parking deck by a skybridge over Palm Avenue. 

"It means so much to the people in our community. The moms and the babies and all those we'll take care of. And it's just a beacon for our community as a place for healing and caring," said Mayo. 

The watch tower is expected to be completed by 2021. 

"Thank you for keeping everyone alive and healthy," said Declan DeRonde, a 6-year-old who attended the ground-breaking ceremony with his personalized "Wolfie" shovel in hand.

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