Children’s and UT Southwestern explore possible new hospital campus

Children’s Health and the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center are exploring the possibility of building a new children’s hospital campus, though the project is still on the drawing board.

The size and scope of any future projects have yet to be announced, but documents obtained by D CEO Magazine indicated the project could cost up to $2.5 billion, $1.6 billion of which would go towards construction.

A joint statement Tuesday from Children’s Health and UT Southwestern cited record population growth and demand for pediatric specialty services in the North Texas region as reasons they are considering building a new campus.

“To meet these needs, we are exploring a potential new pediatric campus. Specific details about a project of this magnitude are not final or approved, and may not be for some time,” the statement said.

D CEO Magazine obtained information about the proposed project for potential contractors. It is not clear if contracts have been issued or if those documents are still in line with the plans for the project, but they indicate the possible scope of such a project. The hospitals sought contractor inquiries in January 2022.

The original application listed a project completion goal of 2028, D’s chief executive reported. The magazine cited a report from Strategic Partnerships Inc., which researches, analyzes and consults on public-private partnerships.

Early proposals suggested the pediatric hospital could include 532 beds, a 90-bay emergency department, more than 90 beds in the neonatal intensive care unit, and a new labor and delivery program with around 30 beds. The hospital and additional campus buildings would replace all other current campus facilities in the Medical District.

It is unclear where the new hospital campus would be located. Children’s Health’s main campus, Children’s Medical Center Dallas, is adjacent to Parkland Health, the county’s public hospital system, and UT Southwestern’s flagship William P. Clements Jr. University Hospital.

Additional plans listed in the initial project description include an administration building, a 250-room outpatient care center, a utility plant to support the campus, and at least one 6,500-space parking garage.

A new pediatric campus would represent just the latest expansion for Children’s Health in the Dallas-Fort Worth region. The hospital system began a major expansion of its Plano medical campus in October 2021, adding a 300,000-square-foot seven-story tower and expanding bed capacity from 72 to 212.

In 2019, Children’s Health announced a new medical campus in Prosper after purchasing 72 acres at Dallas North Tollway and US Highway 380. The new location will join Fort Worth-based Cook Children’s newly opened Prosper Medical Center.

Children’s Health and UT Southwestern have long partnered in treating pediatric patients in North Texas. Doctors at UT Southwestern, a medical center and public school, provide much of the care at Children’s Health, a nonprofit organization.