Health System Undertakes $251 Million Expansion, Renovation

By Dan Hounsell
April 26, 2021

UC Health, Greater Cincinnati’s academic health system, is taking the next step in its Clifton Campus Revitalization, including unveiling renderings of its new facilities and beginning demolition to make way for a $251 million investment across the 14-acre campus. It is the largest construction project in the health system’s history. The project is anchored by a new Emergency Department, Surgical Building, Front Entrance and Main Lobby.

The project includes a significant expansion and renovation of the 30-year-old emergency department at UC Medical Center and the construction of a four-story building to add operating room capacity at the hospital. In addition, two new parking structures for patients, visitors and employees are being planned that will add 1,300 parking spaces at the Clifton campus.

The surgical building is expected to open in early 2023, followed by the new emergency department building in summer 2023.

Additionally, work is underway on a $15 million renovation of the front entrance and main lobby at UC Medical Center, which will improve accessibility of UC Health services and destinations. The front entrance includes an improved drive, sidewalks, landscaping, lighting, canopy, wayfinding, and patient drop-off, the main lobby includes improved services, central registration, new artwork, and contemporary materials to provide patients and visitors with a calming arrival experience. 

UC Health’s Clifton Campus spans 14 acres in the heart of Cincinnati’s Uptown district, and it includes 17 buildings that total 1.7 million gross square feet. All construction will occur within UC Health’s existing footprint, as the health system innovates to provide world-class care in a healing environment.

The Clifton Campus Revitalization is part of a long-term Campus Master Facility Plan approved by the UC Health Board of Directors in August 2019. The plan is the result of several years of study, led by a committee of clinical and operational leadership from across the health system.

The Clifton campus revitalization includes:

  • Expand the UC Medical Center emergency department onto an adjacent vacant lot. The 46,000-square-foot addition will improve capacity and patient flow, including reconfigured access for patient arrivals via ambulance and private vehicles. The UC Medical Center B Pavilion will be demolished to accommodate the new emergency department, and clinical units and administrative offices within this pavilion have been relocated.
  • Renovate the existing 35,000-square-foot emergency department to provide additional emergency response ability and surge capacity for emergency and crisis situations. In FY20, UC Health had 114,402 emergency department and trauma visits and received more than 8,000 patient transfers from other health systems.
  • Build three additional floors above the new emergency department to accommodate an observation unit, a Flexible ICU unit, a shelled floor for future inpatient care use and a top mechanical floor that will enable a future vertical build of the tower.
  • Construct a four-story infill building in the “back porch” area of UC Medical Center near Mont Reid Pavilion to accommodate eight additional operating rooms and other clinical support space. This necessitated the demolition of the radiology administrative building and the old operating pavilion. Outpatient clinics and administrative offices were relocated, and demolition began in December 2020 and was completed earlier this month. The hospital’s historic surgical amphitheater, restored in 2005, was preserved.
  • Construct two new parking structures on the campus of 3200 Burnet to accommodate the increased patient care in Ridgeway Tower and to provide additional parking for employees. This will include the demolition of Greenwood Hall, which has been vacant for many years.

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