First look inside John R. Oishei Children's Hospital

Posted at 6:35 PM, Feb 15, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-15 18:35:17-05

Five years in the making, and less than nine months to go.

"It's like a five year stretch that you hope all the assumptions you made are really going to be the right ones," said Mickey Mariacher, Director of Construction Management for Kaleida Health.

The new John R. Oishei Children's Hospital is 85% completed. And while the doors are still closed to the public, Mariacher, who's in charge of construction there, opened them up for 7 Eyewitness News.

"This is where mom will come to deliver the baby," said Mariacher, while showing off the delivery room.

From delivery room, to mother/ baby rooms... it all adds up to 12 floors and 185 beds. A hospital that will soon be one of only 43 free-standing Children's Hospitals in the nation.

"We actually took on about $6 million worth of changes and are still on schedule and on budget," said Mariacher.

Speaking of budget, she says it's a $273 million project. $170 million going towards construction, $50 million for equipment and furniture, and the rest towards fees.

"I like to tell people that in healthcare, for every dollar you spend, 50 cents is behind the wall or above the ceiling," said Mariacher.

She's referring to different rooms around the hospital, including the "copper room", which is covered in copper from floor to ceiling. She's also referring to the plumbing and fire protection above the ceiling. It's behind-the-scenes work you won't see after opening day.

"Our ceilings will be at around 9 feet, which means there's 9 feet of space above the ceiling before you get to the next floor," said Mariacher.

So the crews continue to work hard, making the hospital accessible from many angles, including a corridor that serves as an easy walk to Buffalo General.

"If mom is over here delivering and is having any issues, currently the plan is quick to get her into an ambulance and bring her here but in the future, you run her right down the hallway," said Mariacher.

She added that they're ready to open their doors and welcome their first patient this November.