All-Ability Baseball Field Putting Green Opens

Ranken Jordan Pediatric Bridge Hospital, the only specialty extended-stay pediatric rehabilitation hospital in Missouri, has added an innovative new dimension to its recently completed three-story, 75,000-sq.-ft. expansion. Consistent with the hospital’s commitment to providing the most advanced and exceptional medical care while inspiring fun, hope, creativity and most of all, childhood, it created an exceptional ADA-compliant outdoor recreation area.

A ribbon-cutting was held 11 a.m., Thursday, August 23, 2018 for the outdoor recreation area and nurses’ station at 11365 Dorsett Road, Maryland Heights, 63043.

“Our kids have watched construction of this area and now they’re excited to be able to get outside and try out everything themselves,” said Brett Moorehouse, interim CEO and COO for Ranken Jordan Pediatric Bridge Hospital. “The outdoor area is designed not only to be enjoyed even by kids with the most severe and complicated medical conditions, but also to ensure their medical needs will continue to be met with a fully-equipped outdoor nurses’ station – the first-of-its-kind for any hospital in the world.”

It was constructed by McCarthy Building Companies, a national company based in St. Louis, in collaboration with sister company Castle Contracting, a civil contracting firm also based in St. Louis. McCarthy also completed the 75,000-sq.-ft. hospital expansion in February 2018, as well as the original 62,000-sq.-ft. building in 2004. The expansion more than doubled the hospital’s patient and staff capacity.

Adaptive, Accessible, Barrier-Free Area for Baseball, Soccer and Golf

The focal point of the outdoor recreation area is the ball field. Donated by the Catch 22 Foundation, a non-profit established in 2003 by Mike and Kristin Matheny, the 5,700-sq.-ft. adaptive and accessible synthetic grass ballfield is built to scale and is approximately one-half the size of a standard Little League T-ball field.

St. Louis-based Turf Life LLC, a maintenance company for synthetic surfaces, painted the entire field with bases, a pitcher’s mound and perimeter lines, as well as logos and stencils, to resemble an actual field while maintaining the integrity of the flat surface for total accessibility for kids with a range of mobility challenges.

Designed as a multi-purpose field, it can also be used to play soccer. The barrier-free design is a game changer that enables kids who have previously not been able to play sports because of limited mobility – due to reliance on wheelchairs, walkers, crutches, braces, being connected to ventilators and even lying on stretchers – the opportunity to participate in games to the best of their abilities.

In addition, an approximately 800-sq.-ft. area features two synthetic grass putting greens with a total of six holes. A tee box for the putting green doubles as home base on the field. The new putting green will enable PGA golf pro Kevin Corn to conduct his weekly golf lessons outdoors.

Outdoor recreation features also include a concrete-paved 588-ft.-long footpath, two large lookout areas and an additional patio, as well as hardscape areas and two dry creek beds, including one with a bridge, in keeping with the hospital’s philosophy of being a “bridge” to enable kids to transition from hospital and home.

Outdoor Fully-Equipped Nurses’ Station Will Be World’s First

Still in the final stages of construction and adjacent to the field is the outdoor nurses’ station. Protected by a double-oval butterfly-shaped cantilevered aluminum canopy frame with a translucent fabric sun-shade covering, it will include two under-counter refrigerators and an ice maker, as well as infrared heaters, a speaker system, WiFi, outdoor ceiling fan, an emergency pull-cord, and multiple electrical outlets to enable necessary medical equipment to be plugged in while kids are away from their rooms. Additional moveable items will be available at the nurses’ station as needed for individual patients.

Facility-Wide Focus on Form, Function and Fun

With unusual features extending from the building’s exterior to interior, Ranken Jordan showcases McCarthy’s hospital construction expertise while also tapping into the company’s specialized experience in creating extraordinary environments that meet the goals and objectives of individual clients.

For Ranken Jordan, goals and objectives for the facility included function, form and fun. Eye-catching features include expansive windows, open spaces with soaring ceilings and a glass and metal curtainwall with a parapet roofline that dances up and down along with a wide variety of angles and curves in lieu of right-angle corners.

Inside, a 112-ft.-long bridge connects the second floors between the original and new wings and serves as an efficient walkway while reinforcing the symbolism of the facility as a “bridge” between hospital and home. It’s one of three bridges that are integrated into the building design.

Just off the lobby, a 28-foot rock climbing wall is the focal point of a large indoor playground filled with natural light from a glass window wall and soaring ceilings. There’s also an entertainment area with a stage, sound equipment and lighting facing an audience area that has numerous electrical outlets to enable staff to plug in necessary medical equipment while kids are out of their rooms. Activity areas also include two functional kitchens designed with a mix of universal design and standard features to help prepare kids to transition home.

“Our extensive expertise building hospitals with complex requirements was fundamental to the Ranken Jordan project,” said Brian Baldwin, project manager at McCarthy Building Companies. “And our broad construction experience enabled us to create an extraordinary environment that embraces childhood and reinforces the fundamental mission of this amazing organization.”

About McCarthy Building Companies
McCarthy Building Companies, Inc. is the oldest privately held national construction company – with more than 150 years spent collaborating with partners to solve complex building challenges on behalf of its clients. With an unrelenting focus on safety and a comprehensive quality program that span all phases of every project, McCarthy utilizes industry-leading design phase and construction techniques combined with value-add technology to maximize outcomes. Repeatedly honored as a Best Place to Work and Healthiest Employer, McCarthy is ranked the 14th largest domestic general contractor (Engineering News-Record, May 2018). With approximately 3,700 salaried employees and craft professionals, the firm has offices in St. Louis, Atlanta; Collinsville, Ill.; Portage, Ind.; Kansas City, Kan.; Omaha, Neb.; Phoenix; Las Vegas; Denver; Dallas, Houston; Albuquerque; and San Diego, Newport Beach, San Francisco, San Jose and Sacramento, Calif. McCarthy is 100 percent employee owned. More information about the company is available online at