When you walk around the newly expanded Considine Professional Building on the Akron Children’s downtown campus, expect to see some familiar territory. The building’s interior floors are each themed with artwork and photography that give off a hometown vibe.
According to Robin Clark, director of marketing, “Each floor of the building has a theme and color that is designed to create a soothing and healing space. We put a lot of thought and effort into the photography, artwork and murals in the building, so it would reflect the neighborhoods that many of our patients live in.”
Robin went to places like local public parks for photo shoots designed around the themes of water fun, parks, animals, the countryside, playgrounds, transportation and sports for art in the public spaces. All the children featured in the large wall murals are local residents, and most are Akron Children’s patients.
Many of the framed photos throughout the public spaces were taken by in-house photographers Ted Stevens and Tiffany Swift.
Facilities Architect Brian Lapolla said the building’s amenities were designed to be family-friendly and accessible. Self-check-in kiosks on Levels 2 and 3 are height adjustable and wheelchair accessible.
“Families will be able to check themselves in at a Welcome Center upon entering the building at Level 2 or 3,” he said. “We expect it to take under 3 minutes for insurance verification, co-pays and check-in. For those in need of extra assistance, guest attendants will be stationed at podium desks near each Welcome Center.”
For breastfeeding mothers, lactation rooms are available on Levels 2 and 4 with hospital-grade breast pumps and pumping kits. Moms are also welcome to bring their own pumps.
Level 2 will offer valet parking in the turn-around and a bistro featuring Starbucks coffee, grab-and-go food items and custom-made smoothies.
Level 3 will offer connector bridges to both the Bowery Parking Deck and the main hospital.
The third floor will also house an outpatient pharmacy open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and a walk-in, full-service laboratory with hours from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays and 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on weekends.
“All floors in the building will have handicap accessible restrooms as well as adult sized changing tables,” said Brian.
Families can also appreciate the building’s carefully curated art by local school children which was hand-picked by Ron Beahn, a local art contractor who works with the hospital.
“My job is to build a body of art in different mediums that represents the kids from kindergarten through high school who attend schools in the community where the hospital is located,” he said. “Students receive gift cards when we choose their work.”
Ron says the 304 new pieces he has collected will be located in hallways, exam rooms and waiting areas where patients are served.
“Each piece is framed and matted and has a nameplate to identify the student’s age, school and name,” he said.
Outside the building on the corner of Bowery and Exchange will stand a stainless steel, triple helix sculpture which will weigh 1 ton and stand approximately 18 feet tall. It is being designed by local metal sculpture artist John Comunale, who has done other pieces for the hospital.
“The inspiration behind this piece is DNA molecules,” said John. “The main role of DNA is to store information needed for the construction of other components of cells that will be carried on to future generations through genetic material.”
John sees his triple helix sculpture as a metaphor for passing his love of art onto future generations of people.
“Many people are going to visit or drive by the hospital for years to come and see this piece,” he said. “Hopefully it will grow on them.”
Although John is the one who came up with the design, Brian says the triple helix reminds him of the 3 promises the hospital was founded on.
“It’s nice for people to be able to overlay their own meanings on my work,” John said. “Then it becomes more meaningful to them.”