The University of Kansas Hospital Authority Board has voted to expand the Cambridge North Patient Tower – while it’s still under construction. When the project was announced in 2014, it was originally planned as a seven-story building (plus a partial mechanical floor), with 92 beds and 12 operating rooms, with the option to construct four additional floors at a later date.
“Our patient volume has been so strong the new building will be full as soon as it opens in 2017. So, we are going to keep the construction crane on site after the building opens and continue building the four additional floors,” says Bob Page, president and chief executive officer of The University of Kansas Hospital.
Page says once the new floors are finished in 2018, one floor will be immediately prepared for patient occupancy, adding an additional 32 beds. The other three floors will be “shelled-in” for future expansion.
However, Pages stresses the expanded Cambridge North project makes the need for philanthropic support more important than ever.
“Patients are choosing us because of the difference advanced medicine makes in their lives. We need the community to support this project to say it is important to have academic medicine and a high nationally ranked hospital in this community,” notes Page.
The hospital had set a goal of $100 million in philanthropy for the original $270 million project, including a $10 million challenge grant from civic leader and philanthropist Annette Bloch. The new addition adds $50 million to the cost but the hospital will keep the $100 million giving goal.
“In order for us to ensure Cambridge North is built and equipped to meet the demands of 21st Century patients, we will need to use every penny of the $100 million in support. We are confident our supporters throughout the Midwest and the nation will come through,” adds Page.
In less than a year since the groundbreaking for the building, the campaign has raised more than $42 million to support the project.
The Cambridge North Patient Tower is under construction at 39th and Cambridge Street, just northeast of the existing hospital buildings. The facility will house two of the fastest growing specialty areas at the hospital: neurosciences and surgical oncology, including Ear, Nose and Throat cancers. The building will also include imaging, lab and a pharmacy. A 2,100-space parking garage is planned nearby.