MedStar Georgetown University Hospital has applied to build a $560 million medical and surgical pavilion, which will include 32 new operating rooms, 156 new private beds, a rooftop helipad and more advanced equipment.
If the proposal is approved by the city, construction will begin in late 2016 and end by 2020. The new pavilion would replace the hospital’s current parking lot by Darnall Hall and connect to the hospital.
MedStar President Richard Goldberg said that the 477,000-square-foot pavilion is a potential solution to the hospital’s limited space and the challenge of accommodating a high volume of emergency patients.
The existing hospital building will also be renovated with the intent to improve efficiency and accommodate new services.
“The overall goal of the project is improved patient experience and continuing to provide world-class care,” Goldberg wrote in an email to The Hoya. “To that end, we want to construct a building connected to the main hospital with a new right-sized emergency department. Our current emergency department is often cramped and can become seriously overcrowded.”
The hospital initiated plans for the project in 2010 and submitted a Certificate of Need application with the District of Columbia State Health Planning and Development Agency on Oct. 6. The CON proposal must be approved for the project to come to fruition.
“The CON is the first of several regulatory steps in the construction process,” Goldberg wrote. “While working on the necessary regulatory approvals, we have also been looking at design concepts with the university and the Georgetown community.”
According to Goldberg, the building will include additional facilities in its updated Emergency Department.
“The project also allows for improved traffic patterns, landscaping and the creation of more green space on the hospital campus,” MedStar wrote in a press release.
Goldberg added that the new building will enhance the patient experience in terms of both service and convenience.
“This new building will be a huge plus for our patients,” Goldberg wrote. “We will take our old, cramped footprint and gain a facility that accommodates patients with private rooms and the latest technologies and improve patient flow so patients can move easier and quicker through our hospital.”
Goldberg predicted the new construction will result in $1 billion gain for the greater D.C. area once the project is completed.
“This project will mean a big economic impact for the District when you think of employment of individuals and the taxes the District will receive,” Goldberg wrote. Additionally, Goldberg said that the project will beautify the campus by increasing green spaces around the front hospital entrance and improving parking with the construction of new underground garage.
“Green space … will give the property more of a ‘campus look’ for the area right up to Reservoir Road,” Goldberg wrote. “We think it will provide an attractive ‘Northern Gate,’ if you will, to the university.”
MedStar plans to hire several firms for construction, development management and design, including Clark Construction Group, Trammell Crow Company, HKS Architects and Shalom Baranes Associates.
“We looked for companies with a lot of experience in designing and constructing projects similar to ours, that is, large-scale health care facilities,” Goldberg wrote. “We have assembled an expert team in the merger of several companies to construct a building that meets our functional goals as well as our objectives for the aesthetic milieu of the university and the neighborhood.”
University President John J. DeGioia spoke about the collaborative process of the new construction in an interview with The Hoya last month. (“Q&A: DeGioia on Faith, A Campus Reconstructed,” A1, Sept. 25, 2016)
“That one is ambitious— a big, big project that we all need to get everybody in alignment regarding that. I’m pretty confident we’re going to be able to get alignment between all of the parties, because I think our expectations are reasonable and modest, and I think we just need to make sure that everybody is a part of it,” DeGioia said.
While Goldberg acknowledged the potential difficulties of such a large project, he remained optimistic.
“There could be regulatory hurdles or design modifications that need to be completed,” Goldberg wrote. “But we would comply with changes that we need to make to keep the project moving forward in compliance with regulations.”
Director of Media Relations Rachel Pugh also highlighted the potential opportunities the new construction could bring to the university.
“The hospital’s plans to expand are consistent with the principles that are guiding the work the university has been engaged in to plan for the future here on our campus — to introduce new, high-quality green spaces and expand existing ones, to create a pedestrian-friendly campus, moving transportation away from the center of campus and to continue to develop a more residential living and learning community,” Pugh wrote in an email to The Hoya.
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