Project category: New construction (completed June 2003)

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

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

Design team: Douglas C. Lindsay, AIA, Principal-in-Charge; Udo H. Maron, AIA, ACHA, Project Architect; Donna Thompson, IIDA, IDEC, Interior Design Project Manager (Array Healthcare Facilities Solutions); Jerry Bruscato, AIA, Principal-in-Charge; Martin E. Petroviak, AIA, Senior Project Architect (Eppstein Uhen Architects, Inc.)

Photography: © j/j images, J. Morrill photo

Total building area (sq. ft.): 250,000

Construction cost/sq. ft.: $160

Total cost (excluding land): $40,000,000

One of Wisconsin's newest hot spots offers its customers valet parking, but it isn't an upscale restaurant on Milwaukee's East Side. And while you can buy and read the latest best-seller as you enjoy high-quality cafá© fare, it isn't one of those trendy coffeehouse/bookstores, either.

The new “place to be” isn't an entertainment venue, an eatery, or a retail store—it's the new St. Joseph Outpatient Center Bluemound in the Milwaukee suburb of Wauwatosa, which opened June 1, 2003. With nearly 250,000 square feet of outpatient healthcare services featuring the latest technology, specialty physicians’ offices, and amenities, the latest addition to Covenant Healthcare's network is a modern medical marvel.

Building on the trend of moving ambulatory care out of hospitals and into specialized facilities, Covenant worked with Array/BLM, Eppstein Uhen Architects, and Hunzinger Construction to create a place where people can have nearly all their outpatient needs attended to within one comprehensive, welcoming facility. The design team also worked to reflect Covenant's goals of providing family-centered care and advanced technology in the hands of caring experts.

“It really reflects the current status of how ambulatory services should be done,” says Jonathan Flyte, senior vice-president of facility development for Covenant. “It's very comfortable and sensitive to people's needs. So many of these facilities don't have ample common space or proper floor-to-floor height. We have a tremendous atrium, wide hallways, and a promenade on the first floor that provides for a great reception area and leads into all the amenities of the building.”

The outpatient center was already well received in the community before the first mound of earth was moved. The five-story building, designed with a cut stone and glass fa™, replaced two aging hotels at a busy intersection. It includes a 1,200-vehicle parking structure connected to the main lobby.

For Covenant, the new center redistributes the healthcare services that the system provides to the people of Greater Milwaukee, directing most of its outpatient customers to a central location designed exclusively for that function. “We were able to reorganize into some kind of logical structure,” says Dean Kaster, senior vice-president of business development for Covenant. “This allowed us to place services that complement each other into the facility, and in that way we were able to ensure that everything stayed patient focused.”