HCMC hammers health and wellness into local expansion 

New addition set to be completed by early 2018

Hennepin County Medical Center is six stories tall and continuously growing. They are well underway with the new Ambulatory Outpatient Specialty Center (AOSC). Mortenson Construction, the same contractor that headed the construction of U.S. Bank Stadium, is constructing the $224.6 million project.

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Mortenson Construction has completed 40 percent of HCMC’s Ambulatory Outpatient Specialty Center, according to HCMC official. Photo by Curtis Vaughan.

The AOSC, located on Chicago Avenue and 8th Street, will be a massive 377,000 square feet. It will be the home of primary care clinics, specialty clinics and outpatient surgeries, according to a press release by Mortenson Construction. It will also have two stories underground for parking, to include 260 parking stalls.

“Hospital officials said the changes were made in order to immediately move all of HCMC’s scattered downtown clinics into the new center amid a boom in demand triggered by new residents moving to the city’s core,” according to a report by the Star Tribune.

BWBR, a St. Paul based architecture firm, is the official architect agency assigned to the project. They have been tasked to assist HCMC staff in designing the new building.

According to BWBR, the AOSC will have five operating rooms and four GI/endoscopy rooms to assist in what is being called a “same day surgery center.” GI/endoscopy stands for gastrointestinal endoscopy, which is a procedure that involves the examination of the inner lining of one’s esophagus through the use of an endoscope which transmits images to the exam room. This examines the stomach and first part of the small intestine, according to the Mayo Clinic website.

In the HCMC addition, there will be a skyway that connects the AOSC to the already busy Level 1 Trauma Center, which serves for adult and children emergency, surgical and pediatric needs 24 hours a day.

“At this point of the project, we are at 40 percent completion; within the next 90 days, we will continue to enclose the structure,” said Nicholas Balagurchik, AOSC project executive lead, in an email. “Look for metal panels going up in the first week of December.”

The state-of-the-art cancer center, same-day surgery center, and many more technologically advanced and beneficial features will help the HCMC manage its already overpopulated five-square block campus.

According to Balagurchik, the project is scheduled to be “substantially completed” by mid-January 2018. This means the keys will officially be handed over and the building will be completed. April 1 is a tentative date to start seeing patients, and May 1 is the goal for a full operational start.

This building is being promoted as an overall center that promotes healing and overall wellness for patients.

“This is an exciting time as the building takes on a persona,” Balagurchik said in an email. “We are your neighbors and want to be your center for health in times when needed.”

About the author: Curtis Vaughan

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