UW News

November 6, 2008

UW Medical Center expansion project to break ground this winter

By Staishy Siem
News & Community Relations

UW Medical Center is scheduled to break ground this winter on the first phase of a two-part construction project designed to give the hospital much needed space for patient care. The expansion, which is scheduled to open in fall 2011, will adjoin the hospital on the south side spanning Columbia Road.

“This expansion is critical to ensure that UW Medical Center can continue to meet our region’s demand for high-quality, leading-edge health care and continue to serve our region in the future,” said Helen Shawcroft, senior associate administrator. “We are excited for the opportunity to offer our patients the best possible care in fresh, new spaces that were developed with their comfort and care in mind.”

Phase 1 of the project will provide a new, larger Neonatal Intensive Care Unit that will allow UWMC to care for more of the region’s smallest and sickest newborns and a 32-bed adult acute care surgical oncology unit that gives the medical center more space to care for patients with cancer, no matter how rare or common their diagnoses might be.

Patient rooms, all of which will be private, will either face the southwest with views of Lake Washington or north with views of a new multi-story courtyard containing bamboo groves, flagstone paths, river cobblestones and copper basin water features. Family waiting areas on each floor will face east, overlooking an evergreen glade.

The expansion will also give UWMC more space for diagnostic imaging, including additional MRI machines, CT scanners and new interventional radiology rooms. A shell will be built for eight future operating rooms to ensure the medical center will continue to meet the needs of the region for years to come.

The addition will be five stories and 163,000 square feet. The project is expected to cost $170 million, financed by patient revenue.

Phase 2 of the project would add up to four additional inpatient acute care floors. A timeline has not yet been set for this part of the project.