BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - There's a good chance you've seen the Our Lady of the Lake Children's Hospital rising up from the dust. WAFB got a sneak peek to see just how far they've come.
From the outside, the freestanding Our Lady of the Lake Children's Hospital looks like it's close to completion, but construction workers are busy making sure everything is perfect before moving on to the next phase.
"It's so exciting. When you walk through now and the walls are up and you really get a feel for this space, it's an exciting time for us," said Terrie Sterling, executive VP and COO for OLOL Children's Hospital.
Senior project manager, Ben Gambrel, explains the facility is about 60 percent complete. While it looks like there's still a long way to go, plans are already in place for what the walls will look like, what images will adorn the hallways, and most importantly, how the entire structure will make its patients feel.
"We're really also excited about the eco-regions as well as the animals. It's going to be whimsical, but also it really represents a center of hope and healing of faith-based healthcare for the children of Louisiana," said Sterling.
The entire hospital has been specifically designed to highlight the vast ecosystem of the Bayou State. Each floor will be designed to reflect a unique animal from Louisiana wildlife.
While hospital executives have been working to secure pediatric specialists from all over the country, construction crews have been working to build the very facility those specialists will soon call home.
The children's hospital will feature a beautiful, open dining room, an outdoor healing garden, and resource rooms for children who are long-term patients who want to continue their education. Everyone involved in making the project come to life has one mission: to keep the momentum going.
"The biggest challenge now really is just keeping focus and continuing on. I mean, we've done a lot of pre-planning and coordination up front. I think one of the things is just the high-end finishes that we have coming in. We've got some wood art walls, some wood feature walls. We've got a lot of decorative glass and those type of items that are in production now and going into production. Those items are really what will make the hospital in the end," Gambrel said.
The colored glass plays a more significant role than most realize. The colors represent OLOL Children's Hospital, but also symbolize the light shining through, giving Louisiana's children hope to help them overcome illness.