Architect Walter B. Jones Jr. of Middleburg Heights, Ohio, passed away on Dec. 5 at the age of 69 after a battle with cancer.

Throughout his three-plus decades as an architect and project manager, Jones led several major projects at healthcare organizations, championing new strategies and leaving a lasting impact on the healthcare design industry.

MetroHealth, Parkland career milestones

Most recently, in 2014, he was hired as senior vice president of campus transformation at Cleveland’s The MetroHealth System . In that role, he led the design, construction, and opening of The Glick Center. The 800,000-square-foot hospital anchors a $1 billion investment in the urban healthcare campus and community it serves.

Completed in October 2022, The Glick Center uses a process-neutral concept that Jones developed, which aimed to deliver a building with few spaces designed for a specific department or task. The approach allows for flexibility to shift space assignments based on volume and care needs as frequently as desired.

The project was completed in October 2022. Jones retired at the end of 2022 but returned to MetroHealth in February 2023 as interim senior vice president/facilities, construction, and campus transformation.

Prior to working at MetroHealth, Jones led the design and construction of the $1.3 billion, 2.1 million-square-foot Parkland Hospital in Dallas, then the largest hospital construction project in North America.

As senior vice president, facilities planning and development, at Parkland Health and Hospital System, he guided the replacement safety-net hospital project, which houses 862 beds, a 154-exam room emergency department, and 27 operating rooms.

Early in his career as an associate at Howell, Rusk, Dodson Architects (Atlanta), he oversaw projects for Atlanta’s Grady Memorial Hospital and Northside Hospital Women’s Center.

Healthcare design honors

A graduate of Clemson University, where he earned his master’s degree in architecture, Jones was a founding member of Healthcare Design magazine’s Editorial Advisory Board.

He earned multiple certifications during his career, including Evidence-Based Design Accreditation & Certification (EDAC) from The Center for Health Design and Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED AP) from the U.S. Green Building Council.

In February, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) elevated him to its College of Fellows, the highest honor given to only 3 percent of AIA member-architects.

Jones is survived by his wife Jan and children, Amber N.; Walter B., III; and Evan D.

A visitation is scheduled from 4:30-8 p.m. on Friday, Dec.15, at Calhoun Funeral Home in Cleveland. A Celebration of Life Service will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 16 at Cathedral Church of God