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Construction Update Blog:

Week of December 19

I have another funny story to share….Trees versus Clouds.

On our second floor, we have a large waiting room for all of the clinics located on that floor.  As you can imagine, we have many clinic needs on our campus.  We chose the clinics that would move to the South Wing based both on space needs, modernization, and for one other very important reason.  All of the second floor clinics - Audiology/Speech, Dental, ENT (Ear, Nose & Throat), and Neurology - are "head and neck" clinics, dealing with disorders and diseases of the patient's head and neck.  These services also have a lot of interaction between one another, for instance, there are many consults between patients from ENT to patients seen in Audiology/Speech.  It made a nice fit for the patient populations we serve as well as for the available space in the building.  The combined waiting room is a large space, yet it feels like smaller spaces because of the wonderful curvy walls and "trees" found throughout the space. 

These "trees" are actually coverings for the large columns that support the building's structure.  They are made of drywall and metal, shaped to form a round trunk and tree branch canopy on the ceiling.  These trunks will be painted bark brown, and the branch canopies will be painted green.  Hanging from the branch canopies will be lights shaped like bugs, but larger than life-size so that you can actually see what they are.  They're really cute, and they add a bit of fun for the kids (and adults, let's be honest!). 

In another area in the building, we have round "clouds" that look very similar to the tree branch canopies.  These clouds are located at the nurses' stations on the 3rd and 4 th floors of the building, and they help families see from way down the hall where the nurses' stations are, giving them a bit of help finding their way.  The clouds are painted in various colors, as they are simple circles and not meant to be actual sky-type clouds. 

The funny story was the day that one of the guys on the construction crew asked me what color the clouds would be painted.  We were in the nurses' station area, and I said they were to be painted in various colors.  We continued on our walk around, and they later wanted to confirm that the tree canopies were also going to be various colors, too.  I said that the tree canopies were to be green, like trees.  I kind of chuckled when I said it because I wondered if trees came in purple and such that I did not know about previously.  He kind of gave me a weird look and said, "Well, how do we know if they are clouds or trees?".  My reply, which I've repeated many times, was, "Duh.  Trees have trunks.  Clouds don't."  Now, mind you, at the time, everything wasn't nearly as finished out as it is now, so it was harder to tell where the trunks were, but it was still funny.  We still giggle about it on tours when I talk about the trees.  

This week, we have implemented mandatory shoe covers for anyone touring the Emergency Department, since the flooring in that space is completed and uncovered.  We wouldn't want to damage it and then have to fix it right before the Grand Opening!  We are also painting a lot of areas, putting in trees in the gardens and outdoor spaces, and have chosen the playground equipment for the Roof Garden space.  We are still working with a sculptor on some great sculptures to go along with our theme, too. 

I wish every one of you a wonderful Holiday Season!  May your hearts be full of joy and may you spend quality time with your loved ones, returning next year for a great start to 2012!

Lori Howard
Director of Facilities Planning
Arkansas Children's Hospital

Arkansas Children's Hospital
1 Children's Way
Little Rock, AR 72202-3591

Call: 501-364-1100
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