Arkansas Children's Hospital Cheers $115 Million Expansion

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - A $115 million expansion that will allow for the care of thousands more patients is coming to Arkansas Children's Hospital.

A planned groundbreaking Thursday for the hospital's new South Wing was brought indoors because of rainy weather. When the construction is complete, the hospital will add 54 new inpatient beds. The hospital now has 316 inpatient beds.

The hospital says the expansion will be funded by donations, planned bond issues and cash reserves. The South Wing is expected to open in fall 2011.

"The new South Wing will allow Arkansas Children's Hospital to deliver an unprecedented level of care to the kids who need it most," said the hospital's president and CEO, Dr. Jonathan Bates.

"We'll be delighted to see the day when we open its doors and can help more patients recover and simply get back to being kids."

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)