Wearing a purple hard hat and dark suit, Children's President Roger Oxendale walks onto a wide platform jutting from the sixth floor of the new Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh. The space is framed by copper checkerboard panels and a four-story glass atrium will be an outdoor garden allowing sick children and their parents to experience the sun and the open sky without leaving the building. But spreading out below is a hilltop panorama of Bloomfield, Lawrenceville, the Cathedral of Learning and the largest office towers Downtown.
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Mr. Oxendale explains how the region's largest construction project came to be and how much more still needs to be done before the 1.5 million-square-foot pediatric complex can open in May 2009.
The excitement and anticipation from hospital officials is palpable as a new home for the region's sole pediatric specialty hospital rises above the dense landscape of Pittsburgh's East End, the 10-acre site bordered by Penn Avenue and the Allegheny Cemetery.