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Community leaders recently celebrated the completion of Arkansas Children’s Northwest at a ribbon-cutting ceremony in Springdale.

The hospital, which includes the 233,613 square foot building on a 37-acre site in a western area of the city, opened Feb. 27. Hundreds of people gathered where hospital officials thanked donors, and community leaders discussed the building’s importance in fast-growing Northwest Arkansas.

Marcy Doderer, president and CEO of Arkansas Children’s Hospital, and U.S. Rep. Steve Womack were among those who spoke at the event. Those who attended included an impressive cross-section of the region, and it included several state representatives and state senators as well as Northwest Arkansas mayors.

Doderer announced plans for the hospital in August 2015. The Gary George family donated the land, which is just west of Interstate 49. The plan was to have the project complete this year.

Donors pledged $80 million to help pay for the project, and many of those gifts came from Northwest Arkansas’ leading families, foundations and companies. The largest of those gifts included $15 million from the Tyson Family and Tyson Foods, $8 million from Walmart and the Walmart Foundation, $8 million from the Willard and Pat Walker Charitable Foundation, $5 million from J.B. Hunt Transport Services and $5 million from Will Golf 4 Kids and the Color of Hope Gala.

The hospital has 24 inpatient beds, 30 rooms in the 24-hour emergency department and five operating rooms.

There remain other huge hospital expansion projects that are being pursued in Northwest Arkansas and they are all an important part of what’s helping drive the Northwest Arkansas economy. The biggest of the other projects is at Mercy Northwest Arkansas where a plan to spend $247 million was announced in 2016. Mercy’s main hospital campus in Rogers is being improved and health clinics are opening in cities across the region.