Children's Hospital Colorado, Colorado Springs marks one year of construction

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Children's Hospital Colorado, Colorado Springs is marking one year of construction. 

The $160 million, 300,000-square-foot facility is being built in the Briargate area. Project leaders said the hospital is on schedule to be completed next spring. 

150 new employees will be hired to staff a pediatric-only hospital. Combined with current employees that means about 600 pediatric experts will treat kids in the new facility.  

We met Lauren Schwamb last year when she was Kid of Quarter for the construction project.  

Several months later, Lauren is back touring the new hospital.

Lauren, now 12, wasn't supposed to live through her first year, because she was born with heart failure. But with a donor heart, she beat the odds.

On Tuesday, she returned to take a look at the progress made on her hospital.

"It's my hospital," Lauren said. "When we drive to Denver, we sometimes pass my hospital and we can see the cranes."

When Lauren first came by the site a year ago, it was just dirt.

"To see how much they have done in a year," Lauren said. "I am sad they are taking the cranes down." 

Saturday marks the one-year anniversary of construction. The 235-foot cranes will be coming down this week.  

"To know that this level of care is right here is amazing," Lauren's mom, Cristi Schwamb, said.

The 275-person crew is putting love into the building brick by brick.  

David Kenney the senior superintendent on the project. 

"When we see these kids and families come out here and see how much it means to them and see the wonder and the smiles on their faces, it really makes it all worth it," Kenney said. "It really does." 

"It makes the hospital a fun place, not just a place to go for doctors visits," Schwamb said.

Lauren loves seeing the continued progress and asking a lot of questions.  

"It really generates some great questions from the kids from time to time," Kenney said. "I am really impressed and caught off guard."

The workers treat Lauren like part of the crew.  

"It's not just another building to any of us," Kenney said.  "We take a lot of pride in what we are doing out here." 

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