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Innovation and patient care drive $111 million construction project at University of Minnesota Medical Center

Construction at University of Minnesota Medical Center includes an expanded emergency department, state-of-the-art operating rooms, a world-class intraoperative MRI suite and improvements to patient rooms.
Phased renovations at University of Minnesota Medical Center began in 2018 and will extend through late 2020.

A multi-year renovation project at University of Minnesota Medical Center will expand the emergency department, add new state-of-the-art operating rooms and improve the patient experience at the medical center.

Construction at the medical center, located on the East and West Banks of the University of Minnesota campus in Minneapolis, began in early summer 2018 and extends into late 2020. Work is being conducted in phases to minimize the disruption to patients and families visiting the medical center. All departments will remain open throughout the duration of construction.

“We’re doing all we can so patients don’t feel the stress of construction, but we understand it is disruptive. If patients or staff raise concerns, we’ll partner with construction teams to ensure construction does not impact patient healing,” said Chief Nurse Executive Deb Cathcart.

Scroll down for the latest construction updates for University of Minnesota Medical Center.

"University of Minnesota Medical Center serves thousands of patients every year, with medical needs ranging from relatively simple to very complex,” said University of Minnesota Health Co-President John Doherty. “These improvements will help us accommodate our growing patient population and better position the medical center to be a leader in healthcare innovation and delivery.”

The $111 million project will include:

  • A 7,000-square-foot, two-story addition to the medical center’s East Bank hospital. The expansion will house a larger emergency department on the ground level and a neurosurgical suite on the upper level. The addition, which will be located along Harvard Street, includes an emergency department entrance with a larger waiting area, updated exam rooms and a dedicated observation unit.
  • The development of state-of-the-art neurosurgical operating rooms located on the third floor of the East Bank hospital. The suite of new operating rooms will be equipped with a single intraoperative magnetic resonance imaging (IMRI) unit, which can be rotated between the rooms.
  • Replacement of the current open-air ambulance bay with a new two-story structure that will feature four indoor ambulance bays on the ground level with state-of-the-art operating rooms located on the upper level.
  • Reconstruction of the East Bank hospital’s main entrance along Harvard Street and complete reconfiguration and refresh of the main lobby located inside the entrance.
  • Relocation of the East Bank hospital’s pharmacy, gift shop and coffee shop.
  • On the West Bank of the medical center campus: Construction of a new operating room, renovation of an existing OR, and updates to the patient unit on the fifth floor of the East Building.

Though there are many other facility updates taking place at the medical center, the reconstruction of the emergency department and the build out of the operating and procedure rooms including a neurosurgical IMRI suite are the most significant components of the project, said Mary Jo Swanson, the Service Line Executive for Heart, Vascular and Solid Organ Transplant services.

“When finished, the new neurosurgical IMRI operating suite will be one of the most advanced in the world,” Swanson said. “Intraoperative MRI allows us to use real-time imaging to precisely guide complex procedures, such as brain tumor removals.”

The medical center will not be adding any beds as a result of the project, Doherty noted. However, the number of single-bed rooms will increase, which will improve the patient experience.

Getting it Right

As we look to improve the patient experience and drive efficiencies in workflow to achieve excellence in patient care and safety, it is important we get it right,” Cathcart said. “We have inter-professional teams involved in the design of the area and we continue to engage our staff for feedback as the project progresses.”

Mockup rooms have been created to enable the construction and design teams to get feedback directly from frontline team members about the design and development of each type of room undergoing renovation.

Construction Update 9/27/2019

A series of road closures near the East Bank Hospital on the University of Minnesota Medical Center campus may affect traffic and cause delays in September and October as construction crews continue work on the hospital facility. Closures dates and details include:

  • Sept. 27-28: East River Road will be limited to a single lane for resurfacing in front of the University of Minnesota Medical Center's ambulance garage, west of Harvard Street. A traffic flagger will allow single-lane traffic to flow from both directions throughout the lane closure and will assist with ambulance traffic as needed.
  • 5 a.m. to 7 p.m., Sept. 28: Harvard Street will be closed south of Delaware Street and north of the traffic circle at the East Bank Hospital entrance. Detour signs will be posted. 
  • Oct. 1 and Oct. 7-16: The southbound lane of Harvard Street will close south of Delaware Street and north of the hospital entrance. During the closure all vehicles need to enter the hospital traffic circle from the northbound lane.
  • Oct. 17 – 20: The Northbound lane of Harvard Street will be closed between East River Parkway and Delaware Street. The southbound lane will remain open to hospital traffic only, south of Delaware, through the hospital traffic circle and south of the traffic circle to East River Parkway.
  • Oct. 21 – 23: Both lanes of Harvard Street will be closed from south of Delaware Street to the hospital traffic circle.

Keep an eye on our progress: Watch our construction camera online for a live view of what's happening at the construction site