Arkansas Children’s in the US has announced the largest ever expansion project, part of a strategic effort to transform child health in Arkansas.

The project is slated to begin later this summer. Its primary focus is to enhance access, improve outcomes, and elevate the overall on-campus experience at the paediatric health system.

The expansion will be carried out over the next eight years, with an investment of nearly $318m for construction at Arkansas Children’s Hospital (ACH) in Little Rock and Arkansas Children’s Northwest (ACNW) in Springdale.

The system-wide expansion plan encompasses increasing bed capacity, transforming inpatient and outpatient surgical approaches through the addition of an ambulatory surgery centre, redesigning clinical spaces to foster multidisciplinary care, and creating an inviting and accessible campus environment.

Polk Stanley Wilcox and Cromwell have been designated as the project’s architects, while Nabholz will serve as the construction manager.

Planning and engineering teams are currently finalising proposals for the enhancements, which are estimated to encompass 265,000ft² of new facilities, in addition to renovations spanning over 170,000ft².

Detailed schematics will be shared with the public in the coming fall.

Arkansas Children’s president and CEO Marcy Doderer said: “For more than a century, Arkansas Children’s has written the story of cutting-edge pediatric care, expanding access and delivering excellence as we’ve evolved from an orphanage to a hospital to a paediatric health system.

“We are building the future together in this next chapter in our story. The result will define excellence and deliver a healthier tomorrow for the children of Arkansas and the region.”