Next week Erlanger will hold a downtown movie premiere of a 2013 film called "Louder Than Words," which tells the story of the construction of a children's hospital in Westchester, N.Y., inspired by a young girl who died there of rabies.

• What: Chattanooga premiere of "Louder than Words." A panel discussion about Erlanger's efforts to create a new children's hospital will follow the film.

• When: 6 p.m. Oct. 30

• Where: Majestic Theater

• Why it's relevant: "Westchester Medical Center had no history of philanthropy and had to create a grassroots campaign to make a new children's hospital a reality - just as Erlanger is preparing to do," said Erlanger CEO Kevin Spiegel, who served as COO of Westchester Medical Center at the time its building project was launched.

• Who: The couple portrayed in the movie, John Fareri (played by David Duchovny) and Brenda Fareri (played by Hope Davis) will be on hand to discuss their experience. Members of Team Chatalyst will also be at the theater to present artistic renderings of their plans and answer questions about the design.

• How to go: Tickets to the film are free and can be obtained by sending an RSVP to

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Rendering for Erlanger children and women's outpatient building

The dreams for East Third Street include swooping glass exteriors - buildings that echo the look of Hunter Art Museum and the Tennessee Aquarium.

They include rooftop gardens. Sidewalk cafes. A tree-lined avenue. And, in marked contrast to the Erlanger hospital's current location, plenty of foot traffic.

Those are just some of the visions already rendered by the architect and construction team tapped by Erlanger to create a new children's and women's hospital downtown.

The team has also been tasked with re-envisioning the East Third Street corridor where the downtown campus is located. Hospital leaders hope to transform the tired strip of buildings across from the hospital into a "wellness and innovation district" bustling with medical offices, retail and restaurants.

Erlanger announced Tuesday that it picked design firm HKS Inc. and construction firm McCarthy Building Cos. Inc. Both are global companies with branches in Atlanta, and both have wide experience in creating children's and women's healthcare buildings.

The two firms have worked together on more than $3 billion worth of projects.

Erlanger officials had interviewed 25 architectural and construction firms, then had the HKS and McCarthy team pair up to compete against another construction and design team in what the hospital called the Reimagine Erlanger Design Challenge.

The renderings from that challenge were unveiled at a public reception this month, and the public feedback factored into the final decision, said Erlanger Project Executive Bruce Komiske.

Team "Chatalyst" - as McCarthy and HKS called their team - "displayed a unique passion both for Chattanooga and Erlanger that clearly indicated this project was not just another commission," Komiske said.

While the current renderings produced by the artists are preliminary, hospital officials say they show just what kind of transformation is possible on Third Street. Erlanger CEO Kevin Spiegel has said he wants the new children's and women's hospital to be a new Chattanooga landmark, on par with the Tennessee Aquarium.

Currently, the redesigned campus incorporates an outpatient children's and women's center across from the current downtown campus on East Third Street, which is home to medical offices owned by Erlanger; a new inpatient children's and women's hospital constructed on part of the hospital's existing footprint at the corner of East Third and Hampton streets; and a new stroke and neuroscience center in one of the existing T.C. Thompson Children's Hospital at Erlanger structures. The number of beds at the adult and children's hospitals are expected to remain the same as they are now.

While the HKS/McCarthy will work on the project out of its Atlanta office, the team will also establish a design studio on the Erlanger campus. Hospital leaders said they "recognize the critical need to keep as much of the work and dollars spent on the project in Chattanooga."

The announcement also signals the start of what will likely be a massive fundraising effort.

Just the ambulatory center alone is expected to cost $30 million, with $18.5 million of that expected to come from donations. The rest of the money will come from bonds that the hospital hopes to take out by December.

Contact staff writer Kate Harrison Belz at or 423-757-6673.