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For 125th anniversary, Gillette Children’s Hospital debuts new headquarters in St. Paul

Faced with the question of how best to replace the flat lot and weathered administrative building next door, Barbara Joers looked outside her office window and wondered aloud how difficult it would be to excavate the side of a hill more than 60 feet tall bordering Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare on University Avenue.

Joers, president and chief executive officer since 2013 of a children’s hospital network that focuses on rare, traumatic and complex medical conditions, was accustomed to asking her peers to tackle unusual challenges.

“Then the vision kept growing,” said Joers, who recalled pivoting from simply adding new staff parking to constructing a new administrative headquarters for the entire hospital.

And then came the idea for a playground.

Architects from LSE Architects in Minneapolis teamed with McGough Construction to spend 2019 drawing up plans. By 2020 — the early days of the pandemic — crews were demolishing the 1960s-era administrative building and quite literally opening up the intersection of University and Jackson streets in the Mt. Airy neighborhood by excavating part of the hill.

Link to full article on Twin Cities Pioneer Press. 

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