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There’s no health care debate here: Hospital construction alive and well

(Rendering courtesy of The Ohio State University)

Carrying a $1 billion price tag, The Ohio State University Medical Center ProjectOne construction in Columbus is one of the largest health care projects in the Midwest. There are also plenty of hospital projects going on around Wisconsin. (Rendering courtesy of The Ohio State University)

By Jan Basina

Construction of the Wisconsin Institutes for Medical Research (WIMR) Center Tower for University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, Madison, Dane County

Construction of New Langlade Hospital to Replace Existing, Antigo, Langlade County

Renovate Wards 6C North (6CN) and South (6CS) and 5C North (5CN) in Building 111 at Clement J. Zablocki VA Medical Center, 5000 W. National Ave., Milwaukee, Milwaukee County

Who would have imagined? Construction of a $1 billion hospital. Well folks it happened, and right here in the Midwest — Ohio to be exact.

The Ohio State University Medical Center ProjectOne in Columbus is purported to be one of the largest health care projects in the Midwest (hey, I’d be willing to bet it is the largest). The 1-million-square-foot complex will house a new 276-bed cancer hospital and research institute, a 144-bed critical care unit, and is LEED Silver certified.

Hearing about the project had me scout out hospital construction projects closer to home. Here’s what I found — but don’t look for any $1 billion project around here.

Not even close.

The Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., is planning a $188 million, 100,000-square-foot cancer center that will include four treatment rooms. Each treatment room will house a new proton beam therapy system. The project is expected to create 500 construction jobs.

The Mayo Clinic wants to complete the building design within 14 months and open its first treatment room by late 2014 or early 2015.

In Zion, Ill., Riley Construction of Kenosha is providing construction management services for a new three-story, 23,000-square-foot surgical addition and remodeling project at the Cancer Treatment Centers of America at the Midwestern Regional Medical Center. Riley Construction is also constructing a new five-level, 500-space parking structure at MRMC.

In Wisconsin:

Informational meetings for subcontractors interested in the construction of the $102.7 million Wisconsin Institutes for Medical Research Center Tower in Madison were held in October. The construction manager at risk is Boldt Construction Co.

In Antigo, a new $43 million Langlade Hospital will be built to replace an existing hospital, which was built in 1933. Miron Construction, the general contractor, is anticipating issuing bid packages sometime in December.

Then there’s the Lakeview Medical Center, which is affiliated with the Marshfield Clinic. The medical center is building a $42 million hospital across from its Rice Lake Center. The buildings will be connected by a skywalk.

And the VA Hospital in Milwaukee is currently seeking bids for the renovation of several of its wards. That project comes in at about $10 million.

But getting back to ProjectOne in Ohio. The 19-story state-of-the-art medical tower, scheduled for completion in 2014, will feature private rooms with natural light and visual and physical access to green spaces. The middle three floors will be devoted to families that have to travel long distances to be with loved ones undergoing treatment.

With almost everyone complaining about the rising cost of health care, why not have hospital facilities that provide amenities to pamper and coddle patients just a bit. It might make all of us feel we’re actually getting our money’s worth when hospital stays are needed.

Maybe $1 billion isn’t that outrageous.

Jan Basina is a data reporter at The Daily Reporter. She likes the idea of medical bills costing less than the facility itself.

One comment

  1. It is so great to hear that construction in the hospital arena is still surviving. It seems that a lot more developments are going through as time goes on. It is about finding the right people for the job now to make sure it gets done in a cost effective and timely manner.

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