CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Construction crews are a month ahead of schedule on the new MUSC Shawn Jenkins Children's Hospital.
MUSC officials and the workers on site have a countdown until when the new hospital is expected to open, set for October 2019.
"We've actually built some time allotment into our system so that we can account for some weather delays if we have them," MUSC Health Chief Operating Officer Matt Wain said. "We're about a month [ahead of] schedule right now which is a testament to the great working being done right here."
Having broke ground in August, construction crews have worked on drainage and the structure of the building.
"We're going to finish the steel construction in October of this year," Wain said. "Once that happens they'll frame out the inside and continue to develop it."
The construction has also caught the eye of other hospitals.
A group from Chattanooga, Tennessee just broke ground Tuesday on a brand new children's hospital.
"Anytime you put that kind of money into a program it's important you look for best case scenarios, what people are doing, and best practices," Children's Hospital at Erlanger CEO Don Mueller said. "I heard about what they were doing down here in Charleston and I couldn't wait to get down and learn from it."
Mueller added they plan on bringing some of the specific site designs from the Shawn Jenkins Children's Hospital to their facility.
"The fact they've labeled everything on the floor from power outlets to where the cables are going to come out gives a great opportunity for the clinical folks to come over and really see their space and make any changes before it's actually built," Mueller said.
"The legacy of what we're doing at MUSC Health will now be transported to other communities across the United States who are looking to build children's hospitals," Wain said.
Officials add there have been some changes made to the design along the way since crews broke ground.
"We've made changes to rooms, administration spaces, and teaching areas," Wain said. "We've [also] made changes to allow kids to be kids. So child life areas, the kid-friendly areas that we've embedded. We've also created an outdoor pavilion so that on the sixth floor of this building families will be able to have rest, enjoy a meal, and get outside. Just allow them to be families as they stay here at the hospital."
Once complete, the hospital will feature more than 200 rooms with dedicated floors for cancer and pediatric heart care. plus, a revolutionary neonatal unit.
Friday night the Riverdogs will host its Legends of the South game with a portion of the proceeds benefiting the new hospital.
The project is expected to cost $385 million, according to officials.
"We've got a great financial model in place," Wain said. "We're very thankful of the generosity of this community. It's been fantastic. The people and families of the Lowcountry have absolutely made this children's hospital possible, and we're very proud to represent the community that we serve."
More than $200 million has been raised so far, including $35 million from state funds. $25 million came from the hospital's namesake, Shawn Jenkins, head of Benefit Focus.