BOARDMAN, Ohio (WKBN)- Akron Children’s Hospital in Boardman opened its new Emergency Room on Wednesday. It is located at the hospital’s Building B.

This new space has 23 treatment rooms with three behavioral health flex rooms. Previously, there were 17 rooms.

The new emergency room has also expanded from 9,600 square feet to 34,700 square feet. Around the building, you will see artwork representing Poland, Canfield and Boardman schools as well.

Paul Olivier is the vice president of Akron Children’s Mahoning Valley Enterprises. He said the design of the new emergency room was a group effort with the staff.

Prior to construction, they spent three months in an old K-Mart in Howland.

“We took the plans and made a complete cardboard mark up, life-size, of the space and brought the staff in and had them give their input. They actually cut holes in the walls and moved things around, said this will work better in this way and so forth, so we were in that space for about three months. It was great because the staff was all involved and had direct input into the design,” Olivier said.

The old emergency room was opened in 2008 and was designed to see 80 patients a day, but clinicians were seeing well over that amount. This new space will allow them to see more patients and have better communication between the staff and patients because the nursing stations will have a better line of sight into the exam rooms.

This project’s budget was roughly $31 million, but construction finished up slightly under budget. Nearly $3 million was contributed by the community and donors.

Olivier said the Emergency Room will serve the community.

“Really, it is going to be a higher level of care — committed, dedicated pediatric emergency medicine here for the long term, for the Valley. A great brand new space that will improve quality, improve patient flow, improve communication between the staff and among the staff and with the patients, and it really affirms children’s commitment to the Mahoning Valley,” said Olivier.

Olivier said they also designed it through the eyes of a child, taking into consideration how they would view the space. Oliver says he is excited that they can offer a space that cares for infants, kids, and teenagers in the Valley.

As for the old emergency room, Olivier says it will no longer be used, for now. They will strategically look at the space to repurpose it for what the community needs. He hopes to have a plan by October.