News Releases

News Releases

For Immediate Release

Plans Unveiled for Oakland Medical Campus Renaissance

$600 Million Building Project will Transform the Academic Medical Center New Children’s Hospital Cornerstone of Project

Officials from UPMC Health System, the University of Pittsburgh and Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh today announced a $600 million building project that will transform the Oakland medical campus. This ambitious project will include the construction of three new buildings, extensive renovations to existing buildings and overall environmental and aesthetic improvements. Construction will begin with groundbreaking for the new Children’s Hospital slated for late this year. It is estimated that all phases of the entire medical campus project will be completed in seven years.

 "With this project, we are making a major investment in the future of medicine and the future of this region," stated Jeffrey Romoff, president of UPMC Health System. "We are doing so because we recognize that today’s best is not enough to meet the demands and promise of tomorrow," he continued.

Mr. Romoff went on to say that this project will integrate both programmatically and architecturally the three-fold mission of saving lives, educating tomorrow’s healthcare professionals and uncovering the next new scientific discoveries.

At the heart of this transformation are three new buildings: a University of Pittsburgh Biotechnology Center, a new Children’s Hospital (inpatient facility), and a Child and Adult Ambulatory Care Center. During the initial four-year phase of the project, projections for on-site employment will be more than 400 construction jobs per year and another 200 jobs will be created in off-site employment for the provision of goods and services in support of the construction.

In the new Oakland medical campus, accessibility and environmental enhancement will be key elements. There will be clearly defined entrances to facilities, internal walkways and wayfinding systems so patients will reach their clinicians and clinicians will collaborate with each other with more ease and flexibility. The environment will include green space whenever possible to make for a more calming atmosphere as well as quiet spaces for reflection and relaxation.

The cornerstone of this project is the new Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh based on the UPMC Montefiore campus. The planned seven level, 320 thousand gross square feet (gsf) Children’s inpatient facility to be built on the Terrace Street side of UPMC Montefiore will house an emergency department, operating rooms, intensive care units, inpatient units, same-day surgery suites, a rooftop garden and a central atrium. Its 235 beds will be arranged in patient areas designed for "family-centered care." There will be an ambulance entrance on Terrace Street and a helipad atop the building. Four floors of the existing UPMC Montefiore facility will be totally renovated to support the Children’s Hospital and the existing Kaufmann Medical Office Building, on the corner of Fifth and Darragh Streets, will be converted into a Children’s administrative and physicians’ office building.

The largest new building in this project is a planned twelve level, 480 thousand gsf Child and Adult Ambulatory Care Center that will be located on Fifth Avenue. This structure will be designed to accommodate distinctly differentiated service areas (five children’s floors and seven adult floors) and will have easy access to Montefiore’s imaging and laboratory facilities. Children’s Hospital’s ambulatory care floors and entrances will be separate and distinct from the adult care floors. Two existing parking garages on the UPMC Montefiore Campus that accommodate a total of nearly 800 spaces will remain.

"This new Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh will be one of the finest in the nation and will allow us to fulfill our mission of providing the best pediatric care available to all of this region’s children," stated Ronald L. Violi, president and chief executive officer of Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. "Consolidating our pediatric outpatient care will also be a major benefit for our families," added Violi.

To further the University of Pittsburgh’s nationally recognized medical research programs, a proposed new Biotechnology Center will be located on Fifth Avenue between Lothrop and Darragh Streets. This planned 12-story building, with approximately 300 thousand gsf of laboratory and scientific research space, will be connected via internal walkways to the existing research complex.

"This unique project, the outgrowth of a mutually beneficial partnership, will allow the University of Pittsburgh not only to maintain its excellence in academic biomedical research, but also to expand upon our leadership role in the health sciences," said Mark A. Nordenberg, chancellor of the University of Pittsburgh. "Our research discoveries will enrich the local biotech industry, thereby promoting regional economic development while providing an example of creative organizational cooperation that can serve as a model for other metropolitan areas," he added.

Because of the rapid expansion of the University’s research in recent years, all existing laboratory space is filled.

In addition to the buildings described above, a medical campus landmark portal on the corner of Fifth and DeSoto Streets will be designed to incorporate a 1.2-acre open-air parklet. Once the new Children’s Hospital is complete, 560 thousand gsf of the existing facility will be used for adult services, thus allowing the much-needed decompression of UPMC Presbyterian. In responding to today’s announcement, Pittsburgh Mayor Tom Murphy commended the sponsors. "This project greatly contributes to the revitalization of Pittsburgh and, environmentally, will enhance the Oakland section of the city. The immediate benefit is that during the next four years, UPMC will significantly boost this region’s economy through the creation of 600 construction and construction-related jobs each year; long-term it ensures that Pittsburgh will continue to be home for some of the finest adult and pediatric medical care in the world."

Allegheny County Chief Executive Jim Roddey added his praise for the project. "This project reflects the foresight and vision of the leadership of UPMC Health System, Children’s Hospital and the University of Pittsburgh. A world-class medical center is an important element in regional development, both because it attracts people to the area and it, in and of itself, promotes industry. Medicine and increasingly, biotechnology, have become two of this region’s fundamental economic drivers. Facilities must be expanded and enhanced to keep pace with the demands of the future and realize the economic promise it holds. What they are announcing today is a bold and necessary step," he said.

Congressman William J. Coyne joined in support of the medical campus expansion. "Through groundbreaking research, medical education and the provision of superb patient care, the entities represented here today have collectively become a national treasure. This new expansion and development will help meet the region’s growing demand for health care and ensure Pittsburgh’s place on the short-list of outstanding medical communities in the United States," said Coyne. A comprehensive community review process for this project is underway as part of the municipal approval process. LDA, a Pittsburgh architectural firm, is the architect of record and Dick Corporation, also of Pittsburgh, is the construction consultant.

Jane Duffield, UPMC News Bureau,
DeAnn Marshall, Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh,

Last Update
February 20, 2008
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Last Update
February 20, 2008