Birmingham’s Parkside continues growth with the opening of Children’s of Alabama’s sleek, modern and colorful Lee Building

Lee Building at Children’s of Alabama. Photo via Matthew Niblett for Bham Now

Parkside is on fire right now. With several new residential developments, a brewpub and more, this Birmingham district is thriving. Children’s of Alabama just added to this growth with the opening of their new Lee Building. We got a tour and the details–read on for an inside look!

Getting the band back together 

The new building houses nonclinical functions for Children’s like communications, HR, finance and IT. Many of these more than 200 employees have been located off the main Children’s of Alabama campus since construction on the Benjamin Russell Hospital for Children building started in 2008. 

Excited to be back on campus. Photo via Matthew Niblett for Bham Now

Adam Kelley, manager of corporate communications and marketing, said they are thrilled to be back on campus. 

“What’s the saying in real estate–location, location, location, right? I am thankful that our team is back on the Russell Campus. In fact, I can’t think of anything but positives about it from my perspective.”

Offices for a modern workforce

These funky chairs are called sways. They recline! Photo via Matthew Niblett for Bham Now

This is not your boring, traditional workspace.  The new building is full of open office space and flex space for collaboration. According to Denise Dexter, facilities design director, “the key word was flexible” in the space’s design and furniture. “Everything can be changed and rearranged to fit various needs,” she said. 

Town Hall. Photo via Matthew Niblett for Bham Now

In addition to flexible spaces and furniture, the building also houses a cafeteria–the “Town Hall”–and even a lactation room for nursing mothers. (Way to go, Children’s! As someone who recently stopped nursing, I think this is wonderful. No mother should have to pump in a bathroom at work.)

Lactation room. Photo via Matthew Niblett for Bham Now

All of the lights

Children’s of Alabama’s iconic light bars. Photo via Matthew Niblett for Bham Now 

Children’s is known for their colorful light bars, which are prominent on the Birmingham skyline. The new Lee Building has even brighter LED versions of these lights. 

Natural light also floods the building. “We worked really hard so natural light permeates the space,” said Mike McDevitt, executive vice president of facilities at Children’s of Alabama. “Whether you’re in an open or closed office you have visibility to the outside.” Who doesn’t like to see the sunshine while they’re working?!

Mike McDevitt and Denise Dexter with Children’s of Alabama. Photo via Matthew Niblett for Bham Now

More information about the Lee Building 

  • The 115,000 square foot office building is six stories tall. 
  • It’s named for James C. “Jimmy” Lee III, CEO of the Buffalo Rock Company in Birmingham and member of Children’s Board of Trustees.
  • Brasfield and Gorrie served as the construction manager for the project, and the architect was Williams Blackstock Architects.
  • In addition to offices, the Lee Building is home to a parking deck that most of Children’s of Alabama’s staff uses–this frees up more parking space in other decks for patients and their families. In 2018, there were more than 677,000 outpatient visits and 15,000 inpatient admissions at Children’s, so this is huge!

Congrats on your new building, Children’s! We’re excited to see what’s next for Parkside.

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Taylor Babington
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