Parkland Making Progress on New Building

Facility expected to be complete in August 2014

By Kristi Nelson
|  Monday, Jan 23, 2012  |  Updated 6:56 PM CDT
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Construction is progressing on the new Parkland Medical Center building.

Kristi Nelson, NBC 5

Construction is progressing on the new Parkland Medical Center building.

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Parkland Medical Center is eager to show off the progress made on its new building.

"It's going to bring it up to modern standards," said Louis Saksen, vice president of facilities planning and development.

There's still much to be done, but it is starting to look like a hospital. The 2-million-square-foot building will have 865 beds.

The design and technology to catapult Dallas' county hospital well into the 21st century.

"It's going to be an open, light, airy environment for patients and families," Saksen said.

The entire hospital is moving, so everything is new. All of the facility's rooms will be single-patient rooms with space for families to spend the night. Hospital staff and equipment will get around in elevators separate from those for public use.

And there will be lots of windows.

"Views are important for patient care," Saksen said. "Patients have a lower length of stay. They experience less pain if they've got a nice view out the window. It's been proven with research."

Renderings of the finished product show an ultra-modern facility with a sleek, spacious lobby and cafeteria.

Parkland's planners say the design is flexible to accommodate new technologies or requirements.

But even with the obvious progress, the project hasn't been problem-free. The parking garage, set to open Jan. 30, was delayed for two weeks because of cosmetic issues and administrators recently admitted the hospital's clerical staff was struggling to keep up with paperwork from the project.

Parkland said the enormity of the project has put stress on some of its systems.

"It's all new," Saksen said. "It's new people coming on, my staff's all brand-new, so it's integrating, getting used to everybody."

Walter Jones Jr., senior vice president of facilities, said the new Parkland is spurring development in the area.

The hospital is scheduled to be completed in August 2014.

All the patients and staff would move over by March 2015. The hospital must yet plan to make the transition as smoothly as possible.

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