Mayor Andy Berke announced a major capital contribution of $1 million from the city of Chattanooga to aid in the construction of the new Children’s Hospital at Erlanger.
The city will commit the funds in honor of the children and families affected by the Woodmore Elementary School fatal bus crash.
"Our city and region need a facility to match the medical care children receive at Erlanger, and with this investment, we can ensure the highest level of care for future generations of Chattanoogans," Berke said, according to a prepared statement.
The new 90,000-square-foot facility will be in the parking lot across from the Chattanooga–Hamilton County Health Department, according to archives.
Click here for more background on the project.
The city will commit $1 million over the next four years toward construction of the new facility.
In addition, the city will work with representatives of the hospital and the Woodmore families to determine the most appropriate way to recognize the children and families impacted by the tragedy, according to a news release.
At today’s announcement, Berke described arriving to visit with families devastated by the bus crash.
During those visits, he was inspired by the Erlanger staff, he said.
"The doctors, nurses and staff of the Children’s Hospital at Erlanger provide the utmost care and compassion to the patients and families they serve," he said. "This was never clearer than during the days after the Woodmore bus tragedy, with the care provided to the children and families at the pediatric ICU. I was inspired to see these medical professionals at work, as it was truly a reflection of the talent and heart of this hospital."
Councilman Moses Freeman said that the entire community was affected by the bus crash.
"The council is pleased to announce this contribution today, which will increase the health and vitality of Chattanooga by ensuring our community’s children get the care they need," he also said. "This is just one more opportunity for the city of Chattanooga, both the administration and City Council, to show that it cares for all of its children."
Berke also tweeted about the announcement.
Today, I am happy to announce that over the next 4 years we will commit $1MIL towards the construction of the @ChildrensatEHS— Andy Berke (@AndyBerke) December 22, 2016
For more information on the new Children’s Hospital at Erlanger, visit www.WeBelieve.build.