Nationwide Childrens Hospital to Transform Main Campus with Phase II Facilities Plan and Behavioral Health Pavilion

June 10, 2016

Nationwide Children’s Hospital announced the details of a phase two master facilities plan today. The approximate $730 million investment will accommodate growth of Nationwide Children’s; America’s largest not-for-profit freestanding pediatric healthcare network.*

A centerpiece of the plan is a new freestanding facility fully dedicated to children and adolescents with behavioral health conditions. As the most comprehensive facility of its kind nationally, the new Behavioral Health Pavilion will be eight stories at completion and house integrated behavioral health services including a Crisis and Observation Center and outpatient programs. It will also open with 48 inpatient beds, with space to house up to 66 inpatient beds, as well as capacity for additional inpatient units based on future patient need. Located on the main hospital campus, the Pavilion will foster collaboration with Nationwide Children’s research team, as well as community partner agencies. The building is slated to open in 2020, with a winter 2017 groundbreaking. The total investment for the building will be $158 million. NBBJ and architecture+ have been selected as the partner architect firms for the project. A parking garage ($28 million) is scheduled to be completed in summer 2020 to support the Behavioral Health Pavilion.

“We have met the promises we made 10 years ago to the community to build upon the tremendous success Nationwide Children’s has experienced. The announcement of the first phase of our strategic master site plan included a 12-story inpatient hospital, which opened in 2012 and has served hundreds of thousands of patient-families. We promised to advance this organization as one of the largest and most preeminent pediatric academic medical health systems in the country, and we have accomplished those goals,” said Alex Fischer, Board Chair of Nationwide Children’s.

“Now is not the time to slow down. We are looking forward to accelerating the strategic plan because both clinical and research growth rates have far exceeded projections,” said Fischer. “Additionally, our Board saw a tremendous need in behavioral health and outpatient services, and this plan will help us better serve the needs of our community as well as transform the model for care to benefit children everywhere.”

The hospital will fund the expansion through a combination of operations, bonds and a philanthropic campaign. The fundraising effort, chaired by Ann Wolfe and co-chaired by Abigail Wexner and Fischer, will support the completion of the state-of-the-art facilities included in the plan, as well as grow vital patient programs and research, ensure care for every child regardless of ability to pay, and fuel recruitment and retention of leading physicians, scientists and staff.

“Our behavioral health strategic plan will allow not only for a unique facility that will help youth in crisis, in need of inpatient services and intensive outpatient programs, but also the continued expansion of the programs and services we are able to offer in collaboration with schools and community partners,” said David Axelson, MD, chief of Behavioral Health at Nationwide Children’s.

Eleven percent of children ages eight to 11 have a mental illness, rising to 22 percent of teens ages 13 to 18, yet only half of those youth receive treatment.

“Our Board knows the startling statistics and took a courageous step to help these youth,” said Dr. Axelson, also a faculty member at The Ohio State University College of Medicine. “In addition to the new main campus facility, we will also continue to serve patient-families at our existing behavioral health offsite locations and through our community-based behavioral health programs. Our Board also recognized the need for more research in mental illnesses, which will allow us to provide best-evidence treatment protocols to truly make an impact for our patients and their families.”

“Our strategic plan is a promise to this community to provide best outcomes through programs and research that will help kids everywhere,” said Steve Allen, MD, CEO of Nationwide Children’s. “Our success has enabled us to accelerate this plan and these facilities support our tremendous growth.”

“I am incredibly proud of our Board’s commitment to our mission,” said Dr. Allen. “The new pavilion is a key component to our ambitious plan to substantially improve access to high quality behavioral health services.”

“Nationwide Children’s Hospital is deeply committed to the health and wellness of children in this community,” said Columbus Mayor Andrew J. Ginther. “This next phase of growth for the hospital boosts our city’s economy, allows for continued job growth and will make a tremendous difference for the many families who are impacted by a child or adolescent with a mental illness.”

Phase II of the hospital master facilities plan is expected to be completed in 2022 and will create an additional 1,000 jobs by 2019, per a jobs creation tax incentive package with the city of Columbus, and 1,000 more by 2024. At their May 27 meeting, the hospital’s Board approved the plan which includes the following components, approximate costs and timeline in addition to the Behavioral Health Pavilion.

Expanding care:

  • The Livingston Ambulatory Building, currently under construction, is slated to open summer 2017. This five-story, 222,000-square-foot building will house ambulatory services including primary care, dental services, adolescent medicine and outpatient behavioral health services. A parking garage for the Livingston Ambulatory Center is scheduled to be completed summer 2017. ($115 million)

  • The Hospital Tower previously had unfinished areas to accommodate future growth. Fifty-one inpatient beds and five additional operating rooms will be added in 2017. ($47 million)

  • The current Main Campus Childcare Center for faculty and staff will be renovated both inside and out, allowing for upgraded playgrounds and improved green space around the building. It is scheduled to be completed in fall 2018. ($3 million)

  • Enhancement of Livingston Park, a treasure for the community and patient-families, will include new basketball courts and playground equipment, consistent with the Recreation and Parks Livingston Park Master Plan. Nationwide Children’s is also working with the city on an easement that will allow future development of an underground parking garage beneath the park to continue to support inpatient growth on main campus. ($1.5 million for Phase 2, Livingston Park Master Plan)

Expanding world-class research:

  • Research Building 3 previously had two unfinished floors that will be built out to accommodate the hospital’s Good Manufacturing Process (GMP) facility, “clean room” area, wet labs and research information services. ($20 million)

  • A proposed Research Building 4 would open in late 2021 as a companion to Research Building 3. The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital is one of the Top 10 National Institutes of Health-funded freestanding pediatric research facilities in the U.S., supporting basic, clinical, translational and health services research. This will be approximately 220,000 square feet when approved and completed. ($110 million)

Expanding infrastructure to support programs and services:

  • A Faculty Office Building, slated to open June 2016, will accommodate the growth of medical staff. The building is 163,000 square feet, six stories and will accommodate more than 650 employees. It will also include Panera on the first floor. ($45 million)

  • An Near East Office Building will accommodate growth north of main campus with more than 800 parking stalls, surrounded by offices. The building will be completed winter 2018. ($50 million)

  • A Central Energy Plant, to meet heating, cooling and power generation needs west of Parsons Avenue, will be completed summer 2019. ($74 million)

  • A new Data Center will be located northwest of Research Building 3. ($75 million)

Specific size and occupants for various buildings will be determined as architectural plans develop. Many of the project costs listed above are current estimates. Renderings are not currently available for all facilities, but will be made available as projects progress.

*Based on 2014 Children’s Hospital Association data.

2016 Master Facilities Map

About Nationwide Children's Hospital

Named to the Top 10 Honor Roll on U.S. News & World Report’s 2023-24 list of “Best Children’s Hospitals,” Nationwide Children’s Hospital is one of America’s largest not-for-profit free-standing pediatric health care systems providing unique expertise in pediatric population health, behavioral health, genomics and health equity as the next frontiers in pediatric medicine, leading to best outcomes for the health of the whole child. Integrated clinical and research programs, as well as prioritizing quality and safety, are part of what allows Nationwide Children’s to advance its unique model of care. Nationwide Children’s has a staff of more than 14,000 that provides state-of-the-art wellness, preventive and rehabilitative care and diagnostic treatment during more than 1.7 million patient visits annually. As home to the Department of Pediatrics of The Ohio State University College of Medicine, Nationwide Children’s physicians train the next generation of pediatricians and pediatric specialists. The Abigail Wexner Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital is one of the Top 10 National Institutes of Health-funded free-standing pediatric research facilities. More information is available at