By SHERI GASSAWAY
If you drive by the Washington University Medical Center Campus along Kingshighway Boulevard near Interstate 64, you’ll notice the area is abuzz with construction activity.
It’s all part of the 10-year BJC Campus Renewal Project, which includes Barnes-Jewish Hospital, St. Louis Children’s Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine. The project was announced in 2012, and construction is expected to continue through 2022.
Phase 1 will feature a new 12-story, 558,000-square-foot inpatient tower at Barnes-Jewish Hospital’s North Campus, a 12-story, 222,000-square-foot expansion of the children’s hospital and improvements to campus public spaces. BJC officials say construction efforts are right on target for the project.
The BJC project is one of the largest, long-term construction projects in the area, and it’s being built with all-union hands, said Jeff Aboussie, secretary-treasurer of the St. Louis Building and Construction Trades Council.
“It’s been a big win for the area, and so far it’s created between 300 and 350 union jobs,” he said. “By the time the work is completed in 2022, it will have created about 700 union jobs.”
BJC PLEASED WITH CONSTRUCTION PROGRESS
Cary Cantwell, BJC campus renewal construction manager, said work on Phase 1 is coming along as planned, and the Barnes-Jewish Hospital and St. Louis Children's Hospital expansions will be complete in 2017.
“The first patients will be seen in the new buildings in mid-2017,” he said. “We are pleased with efforts and quality of the craftspeople working in the project on a daily basis.”
Currently, a steel bridge structure is being erected to connect the new Barnes-Jewish Hospital-North to the existing St. Louis Children’s Hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Cantwell said. Other efforts planned for this year include:
- The enclosure of both patient towers;
- The removal of the three tower cranes;
- The reopening of Parkview Place between Euclid Avenue and Kingshighway to public traffic;
- The receipt of major medical equipment (MRIs for example)
- The completion of hardscaping/ landscaping.
PHASE 2 OF THE PROJECT
The second phase of the project, scheduled to begin in 2017, will include renovations and construction at the south end of Barnes-Jewish Hospital. It will focus on the expansion of the following programs: heart and vascular; neurology and neurosurgery; transplant; trauma and critical care; and general medicine.