Originally Released: April 25, 1996
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As its 1996 session came to a close in April, the Maryland Legislature approved funding that will enable the Medical System to complete the final phase of its capital redevelopment building program.
Included in the state's 1997 capital budget is a $7 million appropriation for the Medical System-- the first in an anticipated total of $70 million over the next seven years. The FY97 appropriation passed with total support of both houses of the Legislature.
"We are very grateful for the continued support of the Governor and the Legislature as we embark on the final phase of our capital redevelopment building program," says Morton Rapoport, M.D., president and CEO of the Medical System.
The $70 million in state support represents approximately 33 percent of the total amount needed for the remainder of the Medical System's downtown redevelopment, which is known as Phase III. The remainder of the $218 million project will be paid for by fundraising, debt and hospital income. To meet its share of the capital funding requirements, the Medical System is working hard to increase its profitability between now and the year 2003.
With the state appropriation in hand, work on the new replacement facility should begin almost immediately.
The $70 million state appropriation is to fund the centerpiece of the Phase III redevelopment project--the construction of a new building on Lombard Street to house Emergency Services, Surgical Services, Diagnostic Imaging and Women's and Children's Inpatient Services. The new building will have approximately the same amount of square feet as the Homer Gudelsky Building, which opened in 1994 and was the centerpiece of the Phase II capital building program. Phase I of the capital building program involved construction of the new Shock Trauma building, which opened in 1989.
In order to make room for the new building, four older buildings along Lombard Street will have to be demolished: the Maryland Pharmacists Association building (known as the Kelley Building), the Maryland Institute of Emergency Medical Services Systems (MIEMSS) building and two School of Nursing buildings (Whitehurst and Parsons).
As the first part of the Phase III project, the Medical System will be relocating these programs.
In order to enable the new building to be constructed with a maximum "footprint" adjacent to the existing hospital, the Medical System also will be demolishing the south wing of the Institute for Psychiatric and Human Behavior and the two-story MRI wing addition. In preparation for these demolitions, the psychiatric inpatient units previously located on 2F and 2G have already moved to the 12th floor of the North Hospital and the psychiatric inpatient units on 3F and 3G will be moving to 11W in FY97.
While employees will just be starting to notice work on Phase III, work on the plan has actually been under way for nearly a year now. Employees in Facilities Management and Development (FMD) have been busy working behind the scenes since last July on pre-design work.
To help plan exactly what will be in the new building--and in "backfill" space that is vacated when that building opens--all services in the hospital will participate in a functional and space programming process for their service. This programming began in February and is expected to be completed by September.
"We're developing a comprehensive seven-year plan for redevelopment of the downtown campus," says Jenette Wright, director of project development.
In the meantime, Facilities Management and Development will be working this summer to select an architectural/engineering team to design the new building. The design process is expected to begin in September and be completed in 12-15 months. Current plans call for the new building to be occupied by December 1999.
When completed, the new building will create a "tertiary critical care zone" on the south side of the campus. All ambulances will come to a new common ambulance court on the corner of Penn and Lombard streets.
After the new building is completed, Wright said the North Hospital, which has a public parking facility across the street from it, will evolve into a specialty outpatient and inpatient care services facility. The lower floors of the North Hospital will be redeveloped for specialty ambulatory care and the upper floors will house specialty acute care.
In addition to new facilities for Emergency Services, Surgery Services, Women's and Children's Services and Diagnostic Imaging Services at the downtown campus, the seven-year capital improvement plan includes a major upgrade of the hospital's information technology services. It also includes further development of the Medical System's Integrated Delivery System network. The plan includes, for example, the development of new UniversityCare centers in Howard Park and North Avenue as well as a proposed new women and children's primary care service in West Baltimore.
"The Phase III downtown redevelopment project will be a great addition to our exciting enterprise in West Baltimore and throughout Maryland," Dr. Rapoport says.
The Phase III downtown redevelopment project also will help ensure the continued success of the Medical System as well as provide substantial economic benefit to the state. The project is expected to create 2,625 new construction-related jobs and generate $226 million in new economic activity.
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