Project category: Addition (completed January 2004)

Chief administrator: Jonathan Flyte, Senior Vice-President, Facility Development, (414) 456-2389

Firm: Array Healthcare Facilities Solutions, (610) 270-0599

Design team: Julian Thompson, AIA, Project Manager; Lisa N. Lipschutz, AIA, ACHA, Senior Project Designer; Floss McGrady, Interior Design Project Manager (Array Healthcare Facilities Solutions); Mark Flasch, AIA, Project Architect; Jeffrey Matthews, AIA, Project Designer (Zimmerman Design Group)

Photography: © HNK Architectural Photography, Inc.

Total building area (sq. ft.): 121,000 (new); 86,000 (renovation)

Construction cost/sq. ft.: $275 (new); $194 (renovation)

Total cost (excluding land): $33,333,333 (new); $16,666,667 (renovation)

Array/BLM Architects’ first task when awarded this project by Covenant Healthcare was to develop alternatives to a previously developed and costly expansion project for the Center for Women and Infants at St. Joseph Regional Medical Center. This program is responsible for 4,000 births per year. Array/BLM developed a project alternative for half the cost ($50 million vs. $110 million). Completed in January 2004, the South Tower project expands the existing hospital facility and includes approximately 121,000 square feet of new construction and 86,000 square feet of renovation. Zimmerman Design Group handled construction documentation and administration.

The South Tower addition links main patient and visitor access points: A two-story bridge provides direct access from the adjacent parking garage to second-floor ambulatory services and third-floor obstetrical services. A dedicated elevator bank also serves to vertically integrate the women's and infants’ functions. Its central location provides direct access to the NICU and two 22-bed postpartum units and will provide direct access to the prenatal assessment center, labor and delivery intake functions, and the antepartum bed unit when they are completed.

The design features support a family-centered approach to care while providing facilities appropriate for a high-risk patient population. The additional square footage allowed a state-of-the-art NICU to be constructed; the vacated NICU allowed much-needed square footage for a renovated labor, delivery, and recovery suite, including obstetrical intake functions and a new, three-OR surgical suite. The 54-position NICU design has pods of varying sizes, all designed to intensive-care criteria. In addition to family space at all bedsides, there are pods sized for families with twins and triplets. Consideration was given to varying lighting options and providing a quiet environment supportive of developmentally sensitive infant care.

The postpartum nursing units are designed with a primary double-loaded corridor; oversized, private patient rooms are then accessed off secondary corridors. This provides privacy and a calm, quiet environment for the new family. The central nurses’ station, with an adjacent “holding” nursery, bows out into the corridor and has complete visibility of traffic on the nursing unit. These units create a warm, welcoming, peaceful experience.

Great attention to detail and repetition of the South Tower's design elements will be evident in the renovated labor delivery suite, antepartum bed units, and the prenatal assessment center. The completed facilities will provide an environment equal to the unique and high-caliber program established over the years by the medical center.