As a small hospital built in 1931, what is now University Medical Center (UMC) in Las Vegas, Nevada, boasted just 20 beds total, and a staff that consisted of only one doctor and one nurse for more than two years. Given its unusually small capacity, the facility was hard-pressed to serve the surrounding Las Vegas community that was rapidly growing in population size. In 1943, ownership of the small hospital was transferred to the Federal Works Administration that proceeded to invest more than $450,000 in new construction for the facility. Immediately following World War II, Clark County purchased the hospital from the federal government for $182,000.
Renamed Southern Nevada Memorial Hospital in the 1950s, the facility quickly began to expand-a $1.6-million, three-story circular wing and a $590,000 outpatient building were added to the hospital in the early 1960s. The 1970s gave rise to a six-story medical education center, a seven-story patient tower, a new obstetrics unit, and an enlarged burn unit. In 1986, the hospital's name was officially changed to University Medical Center of Southern Nevada.
Fast forward to the 1990s, when UMC's ownership decided to give the dated facility a facelift, while unifying the overall healthcare campus with a more modern architectural style. The Facility Master Plan, approved in 1999, outlined the development and construction of more than 250,000 square feet of new space, built in five different phases. According to Christopher Larsen, a principal with Dekker/Perich/Sabatini, the $86-million plan mapped out several key goals, including building in space to grow with future service demands; improving access and customer service; re-orienting facilities to improve overall operational effectiveness; developing a long-range growth plan; maximizing funds for patient care areas; and re-orienting the campus to provide for increased ambulatory care services to the county-owned facility.
Phase One: The completion of a $4-million, 30,000-sq.-ft. outpatient clinic, as well as the addition of a generator building and the expansion of the Central Plant for a total of $2 million.
Phase Two: Construction of a $2-million, 172,000-sq.-ft. four-level parking structure.
Phase Three: A $16-million, 55,000-sq.-ft. Emergency Room/Intensive Care Unit/Critical Care Unit addition. This structure provides more than 50 new ER beds and/or exam rooms, which doubles the facility's original capacity. The ICU totals 16 beds, and the CCU totals 20 beds.
Phase Four: Completion of a $12.5-million, 35,000-sq.-ft. Ambulatory Surgery addition, as well as a remodel. This two-story addition includes six new surgical suites
Phase Five: The $56-million, 175,000-sq.-ft. Northeast Tower and Southeast Expansion.