UW News

June 2, 2005

Harborview breaks ground for new building, patient wing

An April 25 groundbreaking ceremony at Harborview Medical Center signaled the beginning of construction on a $293 million project that will seismically improve existing facilities, construct a new building at Ninth and Jefferson, and add an inpatient wing to provide additional patient beds, operating rooms and an expanded emergency department.

The project is supported by a $193 million bond measure that was passed by the voters of King County in 2000, and by hospital revenue. The project will enable the hospital to meet new seismic standards, expand patient capacity, and respond to natural disasters.

The building at Ninth and Jefferson will house a center for infectious disease control including HIV/AIDS and sexually transmitted disease, and include specialized services such as the King County Medical Examiner’s Offices, laboratories, the Involuntary Treatment Act Courtroom, retail space and underground parking.

Other plans include making seismic improvements to the north wing of the existing trauma center tower, increasing operating rooms and inpatient bed capacity, and expanding the Emergency Department. Projects are scheduled to run through 2009.

“The expanded buildings will add hospital beds and increase the capacity of our operating rooms and Emergency Department,” said Johnese Spisso, chief operating officer. “The seismic improvements to our older buildings will ensure our ability to deal with an event such as an earthquake.” Speakers at the groundbreaking included King County Executive Ron Sims, Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels, County Council Chair Larry Phillips, County Councilmember Larry Gossett, HMC Executive Director David Jaffe, Spisso, members of the Harborview Board of Trustees and County Superior Court Presiding Judge Richard Eadie. “The Harborview Bond Project represents a unique partnership between our Board of Trustees, King County, the University of Washington and the citizens of King County,” said Jaffe. “As the region’s only Level I trauma and burn center and the disaster control center for King County, Harborview plays a critical role in coordinating emergency response and medical care. This seismic upgrade and expansion will continue to ensure we are ready in the event of a disaster.”