Cincinnati Children’s to vacate aging building, move 150 employees to other locations in Avondale
Tuesday, May 31, 2022
Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center intends to vacate the Oak Building because it is no longer cost efficient to operate the aging facility at 619 Oak St.
About 150 employees who work there, many of whom are engaged in medical research, will move to nearby locations in Avondale by the end of June 2022.
Plans call for the Oak Building, much of which dates to the 1920s, to eventually be demolished. Cincinnati Children’s has not determined a timeline for the demolition or a future use for the site, which spans more than 6 acres.
Also to be vacated and demolished is the neighboring Oak Professional Building at 620 Oak St., as well as a nearby utility building and the already decommissioned June Street Garage. Collectively, the buildings are called the Oak Campus. The site was originally home to Bethesda Oak Hospital, which closed in 2000. Cincinnati Children’s purchased the site in 2002.
“While the Oak Building served its purpose over the past 20 years, we look forward to accommodating these employees at nearby locations operated by the medical center,” said Evaline Alessandrini, MD, chief operating officer of Cincinnati Children’s. “Given the critical nature of our academic mission, we have worked closely with our research teams to minimize or eliminate disruptions to their work.”
Cincinnati Children’s has more than 16,700 employees, and nearly one-third are engaged in research at various locations. The Cincinnati Children’s entities that currently occupy the Oak Campus are:
- The Gamble Vaccine Research Center, which will relocate outpatient studies to the Schubert Research Clinic on the first floor of the Clinical Sciences Pavilion (Location T) at the Burnet Campus. The Gamble Center’s overnight studies will move to the Academy Building on Reading Road. The Gamble Center has helped lead the way in the evaluation of lifesaving COVID-19 vaccines, and 11 of the 17 trials now underway at the center are related to that research.
- The Laboratory for Specialized Clinical Studies, which will move to Location R at the Burnet Campus. It provides lab testing to support clinical trials or investigations related to infectious diseases.
- The Discover Together BioBank, which will move to Vernon Place. The BioBank houses research samples such as blood and related information. Cincinnati Children’s researchers work with these samples to seek treatments or cures for diseases.
- The Center for Simulation and Research, which will move to Vernon Place. The center provides educational opportunities for healthcare professionals as well as medical students, caregivers and patients. On average, the center provides 13,000 learning experiences per year.
In addition, the Oak Building is currently home to the Uptown Consortium, a nonprofit community development corporation whose members include Cincinnati Children’s, TriHealth, UC Health, the University of Cincinnati, and the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden. The Uptown Consortium’s eight employees will relocate to an office building at 3440 Burnet Ave., which is owned by Cincinnati Children’s.
The Gamble Vaccine Research Center, which has 65 employees and currently is the site of clinical trials involving about 3,500 volunteer participants, is one of the largest occupants of the Oak Campus.
“The Oak Campus has provided us with the resources to conduct hundreds of clinical trials over the years and was instrumental in Cincinnati Children’s building a reputation as a world leader in the evaluation of vaccines,” said Robert Frenck, MD, director of the Gamble Vaccine Research Center. “However, we are excited about the move as it will allow us to align with numerous research activities currently conducted at the medical center’s Burnet Campus.”