Children’s Hospital of Orange County (CHOC) has broken ground on a nine-story tower at its main campus in Orange that will house a variety of pediatric outpatient services in a soothing and inviting patient- and family-centered environment.
The 330,000-sq.-ft. Southwest Tower, on Main Street and CHOC Court just north of the 22 Freeway, will open in phases beginning in mid-2025. When completed, the Southwest Tower will include a comprehensive outpatient imaging center, a dedicated Research Institute floor, oncology infusion services, multiple specialty clinics, and a host of patient and family amenities.
“Our new Southwest Tower will ensure we continue to deliver on our mission and advance our vision to be the leading destination for children’s heath by providing exceptional and innovative care,” said Paul Van Dolah, executive vice president and chief operating officer of CHOC. “I’d like to express my gratitude to the providers, executives, and staff who since 2019 have been working hard to bring to life our vision for this beautiful new tower.”
With unobstructed views from the 22 Freeway, the curvature of the building with predominant red and blue exterior design features will look like a beacon, especially at night. The building’s design will be a welcoming, flexible and adaptable space that promotes health and wellness, encourages learning and discovery, fosters collaboration, and sparks creativity.
Dr. Charles Golden, assistant chief medical officer and vice president and executive medical director of CHOC’s Primary Care Network, serves on the project leadership team for the Southwest Tower and has been deeply involved with its design and features.
“The Southwest Tower will create a one-stop shop, so to speak, for patients and families who currently are seen across numerous specialties. Speaking on behalf of the providers and everyone involved in this project, I am very proud of this building and the positive impact it will undoubtedly have on children and families for years to come,” Dr. Golden said.
Dr. Golden noted that services offered in the Southwest Tower will allow more of CHOC’s patients to receive infusions, like chemotherapy and other medications, as well as other procedures, without having to be admitted for an overnight hospital stay. Research has shown that treating children on an outpatient basis, whenever possible, can promote faster recovery times and enhanced well-being.
The Southwest Tower’s roughly 11,000-sq.-ft. imaging center, on the fourth floor, will feature state-of-the-art modalities that produce high-quality pictures that will improve diagnoses and use the lowest levels of radiation possible. These services are needed to support CHOC’s growing patient volumes.
The tower’s ninth floor will be dedicated to CHOC’s Research Institute, which will offer access to cutting-edge pediatric research and clinical trials that in many cases can’t be found anywhere else. The floor will have exam rooms for patients and a dedicated area for children with movement disorders to use ceiling-mounted harnesses to work on their mobility.
“The new research floor will be a significant expansion of our research enterprise and is a central element of CHOC’s ongoing commitment to provide every possible opportunity for the health of the children entrusted to our care,” said Dr. Terence Sanger, vice president and chief scientific officer at CHOC. “The inclusion of research within the new clinical building is essential to our vision to ‘Go Beyond’ by finding new treatments for both tomorrow and today. “
CHOC’s construction partners on the Southwest Tower also worked on the Bill Holmes Tower, which opened in 2013. The general contractor is McCarthy Building Companies Inc., the program management partner is Jacobs Construction, and the architect and design firm is CannonDesign.