BOARDMAN, Ohio (WKBN) – Senator Sherrod Brown got a first-hand look at the expansion taking place at Akron Children’s Hospital in the Valley.

The Senator met with hospital administrators Friday morning and walked through the construction site for a new larger emergency department.

Directors say the need for children’s health care services has been growing pretty steadily ever since the campus first opened.

“We had a little dip during COVID, but all health care institutions see volume went down during COVID. And now, it’s kind of roaring back. The current emergency room is about 8,000 square feet. The new emergency room will be 30,000 square feet. That gives you a sense of how big we have to grow to meet the community’s need,” said Paul Olivier from the Akron Children’s Hospital Mahoning Valley.

Directors said the existing emergency department had 33,000 patient visits last year alone.

The construction work is about 60 percent complete with an opening expected next April.