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Construction Update Blog:

Week of December 5

Well, last Friday was a bittersweet day, because we held our last full-building tour for staff members that morning.  It was our 124 th tour (wow!), and the group was lots of fun.  For every tour we've held, we've taken a commemorative photo of the tourist group.  Some tourists have been a bit hesitant to have their photos taken while wearing the lovely safety garb - hard hat an safety goggles - but others have thought it was a really cool thing, since they don't get to wear the garb every day.  I've even seen a few of the photos on social networking sites, and of course, that's when I'm most amused that I'm the one taking  the photos and not one of the ones in the photos! 

We've been touring folks since February, so it's been almost a year.  We wanted to make last Friday's tour a bit more special because it was our last one.  Last week, I arranged with Nabholz, our contractor, to have a special gift for each of the tourists after the tour.  I carried markers stamped with "South Wing" on them, while my compatriot Dewane (our Construction Director) carried a box with the gifts.  I had already taken the tourist photo, as usual, at the beginning of the tour so that our tourists would suspect nothing.  Haha!  I felt like I was on a secret mission.  Okay…well maybe not a super-secret spy mission, but a secret mission nonetheless.

Anyway, at the end of the tour, we gave each tourist a marker and a bolt/washer/nut from the project as a souvenir.  I snapped another photo of them, below, for the record:

Of course, since then, I have had a few other folks who were not on this tour ask me for bolts!  These last tour tourists just got lucky - they didn't know we were doing the special gift until the end. 

Although Friday's tour group didn't ask any funny tourist questions, I have had a few over the past 10 months.  One tourist asked if we were going to remove the inside elevator between Sturgis and the South Wing, once the building opened.  This question came up right after I had explained that the elevator was built so that you could get from one building to another after the building opened. This was pretty far into the tour season, and I was tired.  I said, "Yes," just to see what she'd say.  Right after that, I ended up telling the group, "No," because I didn't want to start a rumor.

Another funny question was how many patient bedspaces we were going to gain in the Hem-Onc unit.  Now, you have to understand that I had just said, "In the existing, old Hem-Onc unit, we have 16 bedspaces.  Here in the new South Wing, we've built 26 private rooms."  I just said, "Ten," and kept walking. 

One of my very favorites, though, was a fairly recent question about the ambulance and trauma entrance.  I had just pointed out that the ambulance entrance was just outside a set of double doors and that the ambulances would pull up there and the EMTs would bring the patients down the hall and into the trauma area.  The tourist looked somewhat shocked and, in a serious voice, asked me if the ambulances actually drove down the hallway to drop off the patients.  I just said, "No."

There have been many others.  I have been told that the tours are wonderful, and I believe that most tourists have been pleasantly surprised at the new building.  I have also had the suggestion that, if I should leave ACH for other ventures, the Hoover Dam or Grand Canyon tour guide arena might be my next stop.  I think, for now, I'll just hang out here and get this building opened for our patients, staff, visitors, and families!

Next up - I'll talk about move-in planning and how that process works.

Have a great week, all!

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
ACH South Wing Family House
South Wing Tour Group
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