For about a decade, Intermountain Healthcare has been buying properties on the south side of the Utah Valley Regional Medical Center campus in Provo. Now that the homes have been demolished and IHC has purchased 940 North street from the city, it’s ready to start work on a huge hospital expansion project that will mean a new patient tower, new outpatient building, new green space and more.
“It’s been quite a few years we’ve been planning this,” said Janet Frank, UVRMC spokeswoman.
The new 12-story patient tower (the existing tower is seven stories) will be built on the southwest corner of the hospital campus. The new 9-story outpatient building will be on the northeast side, where the existing helipad is — that will move to be closer to the new patient tower, Frank said.
Work on the $430 million project will go into 2019, she said. Construction on the new buildings will be done in the fall of 2018, then IHC will begin tearing down the existing patient tower. Groundbreaking for the project is Wednesday.
The new patient tower will have larger, private patient rooms with large windows. The outpatient building will house physician clinics and outpatient hospital services; the existing outpatient building on the corner of 300 West and 1230 North won’t change, Frank said.
Also in the plans:
• educational and exercise space for patients and their families;
• stairwells with natural light that people will want to use;
• large pond, waterfall and gardens (replacing the existing patient tower);
• walking path around the campus;
• patio for a new cafeteria.
The construction will come with some disruptions, mostly in parking. If you’re used to using the parking terraces on the north side of campus or the free valet service (available Monday through Friday), you won’t notice any changes, Frank said. But if you usually park on the south side of the campus, be prepared for that parking to be gone — that’s where the new patient tower construction will be. All of that parking space is being shifted to the south and there will be a covered walkway from the parking lot to the hospital.
“Parking we know will be a challenge through this whole process,” she said.
There will be signs pointing people in the right direction and an information booth on 940 North to help people get where they need to be, Frank said. Traffic on 940 North between 500 West and 300 West now only goes one way — east.
Another big change — the existing rehab building will be torn down between now and mid-July to make way for the new tower, she said. The hospital has been moving things around inside to make space for rehab services during construction.