The world renowned Dallas-based architectural firm of HKS Inc. has been chosen to design the free-standing Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Hospital.

Hospital CEO Scott Wester made the announcement at the annual Children’s Hospital Fiesta on Thursday night at the home of board Chairman Don Daigle and wife Gerry.

“Tonight is one of the most special evenings,” Wester told the 700-plus guests. “We’ve been on a journey … now we’re ready to embark on the next part of the journey.”

The architectural plans should be completed by this fall and an announcement regarding the groundbreaking for the free-standing hospital is expected to follow shortly after those plans are released.

“It’s going to be a reality, and we’re going to make damn sure it’s a reality,” said Daigle. “It’s not just important for this area but for the entire state.”