Northwestern Medicine’s New Lake Forest Hospital on Track

LAKE FOREST, Ill. — Construction on Northwestern Medicine’s new Lake Forest Hospital is currently on track. With about 99 percent of the exterior completed, the outpatient clinics of the hospital are expected to open in fall 2017, while inpatient services will open in early 2018, reported the Chicago Tribune.

Made up of five pavilions, the 499,605-square-foot facility will contain 114 private beds, 72 outpatient-care spaces and eight operation rooms. It is projected to cost about $392 million.

Situated on a 160-acre campus, the facility will integrate both health and wellness, with more than 7,000 feet of walking and biking trails as well as a new common area for community activity and enjoyment. While the first phase of the project includes developing the new hospital, the redesigned campus will include more than 100 acres of the property open to the public, according to the Chicago Tribune.

New Haven, Conn.-headquartered Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects and Chicago-based Gensler health and wellness firm collaborated on the design of the replacement facility. The project was officially approved by the city of Lake Forest in January 2014, and excavation work began in February 2015.

At a Nov. 9 meeting of the Plan Commission, residents raised concerns about drainage as well as noise of mowers and equipment required to maintain the new hospital and its landscaping. Another resident requested that part of the existing hospital be preserved, especially the front façade and interior entry, because one the original building’s architects was a Lake Forest resident.

McAfee noted the history of the existing hospital and said Northwestern would be thoughtful, according to the Chicago Tribune. While portions of the existing hospital will likely be torn down, that wouldn’t happen until 2020 or later. The Plan Commission will continue the hearing at its meeting on Dec. 14.