Ribbon cutting ceremony, blessing celebrates soft opening of Legacy Tower

On May 10, Texas Children’s celebrated the soft opening of Texas Children’s Legacy Tower with a special ribbon cutting ceremony and blessing of the new 400-foot-tall building, part of which will officially open on Tuesday, May 22.

In the heart of the Texas Medical Center, more than 200 guests gathered outside Legacy Tower to attend this historic celebration. Guests included members of Texas Children’s Board of Trustees and Executive Council, Services in Chief, In-Chiefs, Chiefs of Service, donors, patient families, as well as Legacy Tower leadership team members and construction partners who together helped bring this massive project to fruition.

Texas Children’s President and CEO Mark Wallace delivered opening remarks and thanked everyone in attendance for their commitment to turning this vision into reality.

“The opening of Legacy Tower is another dream come true for Texas Children’s,” Wallace said. “There are so many people who worked tirelessly to bring us to this day. With 640,000 square feet of space, Legacy Tower will help us continue to serve our patients and their families, particularly children who are critically ill and have complex needs.”

When Phase One of Legacy Tower opens on May 22, the tower will house new state-of-the-art operating rooms with one intraoperative MRI, as well as a new pediatric intensive care unit (ICU), which will span four floors and open with six ORs and 84 ICU beds, including dedicated surgical, neuro and transitional ICU beds.

The second phase of the Legacy Tower will open in September. The tower will be the new home of Texas Children’s Heart Center® – ranked No. 1 in the nation by U.S. News & World Report in cardiology and heart surgery. The Heart Center will have an outpatient clinic, four catheterization labs with one intraprocedural MRI, cardiovascular intensive care unit (CVICU), four CVORs and cardiology acute care beds. The tower will also have a helistop, allowing for greater access to Texas Children’s most critically ill patients.

During the ribbon cutting event, Texas Children’s Physician-in-Chief Dr. Mark W. Kline and Texas Children’s Surgeon-in-Chief Dr. Larry Hollier delivered their messages of appreciation, and explained what Legacy Tower will mean to our patients and their families.

“As the largest and busiest department of surgery in the country, we are called upon every day to provide some of the most complex surgeries on some of the most sickest children that this world has ever seen,” Hollier said. “The calls come in every day. Legacy Tower is the answer to those calls. I want to thank Mr. Wallace and the Board for the vision that it took to build the tower that rises above us today. It is a testimony to the commitment that they and others have made to show the rest of the world what excellence in pediatric care looks like.”

Kline also thanked the crowd for their commitment to this project, and specifically thanked Texas Children’s Chief of Critical Care Services Dr. Lara Shekerdemian and Chief of Cardiology Dr. Daniel Penny for their instrumental leadership in making Legacy Tower possible. He also shared the thoughtful design that went into building the Legacy Tower to ensure we created the best and safest environment of care for our patients.

“It’s remarkable to walk through the intensive care units and to see the way the equipment has been located, the size of the rooms, the layout, the flow that will occur in patient care in those rooms,” Kline said. “Every detail has been addressed in the most thoughtful manner and in the input from the families has been really extraordinary and absolutely critical to that process.”

After Texas Children’s Chaplain James Denham delivered the blessing, the yellow ribbon was cut to symbolize the completion and imminent opening of the first phase of Legacy Tower. Guests also got a chance to meet Bailey, Texas Children’s new Legacy Tower therapy dog, and take a tour of Legacy Tower.

Texas Children’s Office of Philanthropy organized this event.