Ann Miller, Media Relations
(727) 767-8592

News Release


Tree Tops Florida’s Biggest Construction Project
NEW All Children’s Hospital Reaches Milestone

Dec. 14, 2007 (St. Petersburg, FL) What has enough concrete to build a sidewalk from St. Petersburg to Daytona Beach and enough data cable to stretch to Atlanta?  It’s the new All Children’s Hospital - the largest commercial construction project in the state - which reached a major milestone this week.

On Friday, December 14th, All Children’s staff, friends and patients’ families gathered on the roof of its newest parking garage to celebrate the new hospital’s Topping Out. This tradition calls for a tree to be placed atop the finished exterior when its highest beam is set, as a sign of celebration and an omen of good fortune. The parking lot roof provided an excellent vantage point of the now nine-story external structure that will become the new hospital.

“Standing here with views of the campus all around us makes you reflect on the hard work of those who went before us,” said Gary Carnes, President & CEO of All Children’s Health System. “They assembled the acreage and provided the opportunity for us to be able to build this hospital.  All those years of hard work by the boards, staff, physicians and community philanthropy have paid off with a new hospital that will be – not only a showplace – but most importantly a great healing environment for the patients and families we serve.”

The $400-million construction project (new hospital, medical office building, parking garage and central energy plant) was begun in 2005 and is slated for completion in late 2009.  The hospital’s 775,000 square feet will house 240 patient beds and state of the art facilities to diagnose and treat all manner of pediatric health problems.

Following remarks from Congressman C.W. Bill Young and St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Baker, a blessing was offered by the Rev. Dave Gerber, All Children’s Hospital Chaplain.  Atop the new hospital, lights blinked on the tree as the prayer concluded with a plea for continued construction safety and the blessing of the new hospital’s healing mission.  Then patients and their siblings joined Tampa Bay Lightning star Vinny Lecavalier in waving celebratory flags to signal the unfurling of a giant banner on the side of the new hospital.  Lecavalier was one of several major donors in attendance at the ceremony. His recent $3-million commitment to the new hospital construction will underwrite the Vinny Lecavalier Center for Pediatric Cancer & Blood Disorders on the new hospital’s seventh floor.

Fun Facts
(or, what does it take to build a new All Children’s Hospital?)

The new All Children’s Hospital is the LARGEST commercial construction project in the state of Florida. HOW LARGE???

  • The new hospital sits on 12,000 cubic yards of concrete in caissons below ground.  This weighs approximately 48.6 million pounds, which is more than the total weight of ten space shuttles.
  • Each caisson (or underground support column) is capable of holding 3.8 million pounds, which is roughly equivalent to the weight of 270 adult male African elephants.
  • To place the caissons and create the building’s basement, 67,000 cubic yards of soil had to be excavated.  If it were spread 6” deep, that soil would cover over 80 acres of land.
  • There are over 8,000 tons of rebar and 45,000 cubic yards of concrete in the building itself.  This is enough concrete to build a sidewalk 4” deep, 4’ wide and 175 miles long, which would get you from St. Petersburg to Daytona Beach.
  • There are 10,000 data ports in the building and enough data cable  - over 2.3 million feet - to stretch from St. Petersburg to Atlanta.
  • The metal ductwork in the building – over 1-million pounds of it – is enough to build more than 400 automobiles.
  • There is more than 1,450 miles of copper wiring in the building, enough to stretch from St. Petersburg to Topeka, Kansas.
  • Each set of plans contains 13,200 SF of paper.  Each sheet laid end to end would stretch 4,400 feet – 3 times higher than the Sears tower.
  • We will install over 2.5 million square feet (52,000 pieces) of drywall in the project.  That is enough drywall to complete roughly 250 average sized homes.
  • We will use over 15,000 gallons of paint, which is enough to fill a 26’ x 26’ residential swimming pool.
  •  At our peak, there will be over 1200 workers on this job.