Ascension Texas breaks ground on first children’s hospital in Williamson County

Dell Children's Medical Center North campus groundbreaking
Austin Mayor Steve Adler (second from left) and City Council Member Mackenzie Kelly (third from left) were on-site to help with the groundbreaking on construction of the upcoming Dell Children's Medical Center North campus in Northwest Austin. (Iain Oldman/Community Impact Newspaper)

Austin Mayor Steve Adler (second from left) and City Council Member Mackenzie Kelly (third from left) were on-site to help with the groundbreaking on construction of the upcoming Dell Children's Medical Center North campus in Northwest Austin. (Iain Oldman/Community Impact Newspaper)

Before the end of next year, the first children’s hospital located in Williamson County is expected to open with a full array of pediatric care services.

Officials from Ascension Texas, as well as local elected officials, were on site in Northwest Austin to break ground on construction of the upcoming Dell Children’s Medical Center North to be located at the southeastern intersection of US 183 and Avery Ranch Boulevard.

“This investment is going to allow children in need of advanced specialty care to actually get it in their home where they live. This is what our community needs,” Austin Mayor Steve Adler said at the groundbreaking ceremony.

The 187,000-square-foot, four-story hospital is scheduled to open in November 2022 with 36 beds dedicated to emergency pediatric care.

According to Ascension, the first floor of the new hospital will house a dedicated emergency department offering Level III trauma care. Chris Born, president of Dell Children’s Medical Center, said the first floor at this campus will include two trauma bays, a full laboratory, full imaging services, a pharmacy and a cafeteria for guests.

The second and third floors of the medical center will house operating rooms and 36 beds for pediatric health care services, along with bedrooms, a lounge and a kitchen. The fourth floor of the children’s hospital is designed to accommodate for the future expansion of an additional 72 beds, according to Ascension materials.

Ascension is also building a 60,000-square-foot medical office building on the site of its upcoming Northwest Austin campus. This building will house medical specialists and provide pediatric care for outpatient services.

“That ... medical office building will be full of pediatric medical subspecialists and surgical subspecialists to care for children in North Austin on an outpatient basis before they need to get to the hospital,” Born said.

This new children’s hospital is among several new projects that are under progress or have recently debuted. In late April, the health care network opened a new four-story Specialty Pavilion adjacent to the Dell Children’s Medical Center in the Mueller development. Born further said Ascension will soon break ground a four-story tower that will deliver 72 hospital beds at Dell Children’s central campus.

The Dell Children’s Medical Center North will be the first of two dedicated children’s hospitals facilities coming to far Northwest Austin in Williamson County. Shortly after Ascension announced its upcoming medical center in spring 2020, Texas Children’s Hospital announced it will build a medical center at the northeast intersection of RM 620 and Lake Creek Parkway.

Officials from Texas Children’s Hospital previously told Community Impact Newspaper that construction would start sometime in 2021 with an estimated opening date in early 2024.

These two hospitals will be the first pediatric emergency care facilities north of SH 45 North in Williamson County. St. David’s Children’s Hospital in North Austin is currently the closest pediatric hospital to Williamson County residents, and it is located approximately 7 miles from Cedar Park’s southernmost boundaries.

Becky O’Dell is a mother who has two children who receive frequent pediatric care at the Dell Children’s facility in Mueller. At the May 13 groundbreaking ceremony, O’Dell said she and her husband's calculated travel to the Central Austin medical center was a 64-mile round trip. That distance, O’Dell said, has caused her daughter to miss school hours and time with friends as she is receiving care.

“It will be such a blessing to have a campus up here close to home that will cut the commute by more than half. ... We cannot wait to have this campus open up,” O’Dell said May 13.
By Iain Oldman
Iain Oldman joined Community Impact Newspaper in 2017 after spending two years in Pittsburgh, Pa., where he covered Pittsburgh City Council. His byline has appeared in PublicSource, WESA-FM and Scranton-Times Tribune. Iain worked as the reporter for Community Impact Newspaper's flagship Round Rock/Pflugerville/Hutto edition and is now working as the editor for the Northwest Austin edition.


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