University of Kansas Hospital Plans Additional Expansion

KANSAS CITY, Kan. — While the Cambridge North Patient Tower is still being constructed on the Kansas University Hospital’s campus, the hospital has decided to expand the tower right away instead of waiting for the facility to be overcrowded due to the large volume of patients the hospital sees, according to Lawrence Journal-World. The new Cambridge tower is expected to be at capacity as soon as it opens in 2017, according to Bob Page, hospital president and CEO, in a statement.

The tower was originally planned to be a seven-story facility that would hold 92 beds, 28 intensive care beds and 12 operating rooms in 2014. The facility will add an additional 300,000 square feet and will also create 100 physician positions and 600 additional health care jobs.

The design was made to create the option for an additional four-floor expansion at a future time, but with the patient volume, the Hospital Authority Board has decided to begin immediately, according to a hospital statement. The construction equipment will stay on-site, and after the Cambridge tower is complete in 2017, the construction of the additional floors will begin and the levels are expected to open a year later in 2018, according to the statement. One of the levels will be immediately open to patients and will add an additional 32 beds to the facility, while the other three levels will be “shelled in” to prepare for future expansion.

The University of Kansas Hospital is an independent hospital authority that received no state or local funding and relied on their strong fiscal performance and the support of donors. The tower’s original budget was $270 million, but after the expansion was planned, the hospital added and additional $50 million to the cost of the construction. The hospital has a goal of raising $100 million through philanthropy, and as of the Cambridge Tower’s groundbreaking in 2014, the hospital has raised $42 million.

“We are doing much more than constructing a new building. We are building this hospital as we put Kansas City on the national medical map. Great cities have great academic hospitals,” said Greg Graves, a major donor and CEO of Burns & McDonnell, in a statement.