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UI considers $1B overhaul of health care campus

Associated Press Modified: January 29, 2011 at 2:08 pm •  Published: January 29, 2011
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DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — An improved financial outlook has University of Iowa officials considering more than $1.1 billion in projects as part of an overhaul of its health care campus, according to a recent report presented to the Iowa Board of Regents.

Planned improvements include a 10-year, nearly $800 million plan announced in 2008 aimed at converting to private rooms at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, building a new children's hospital tower and a new critical care tower.

Regents will consider moving forward on the children's tower during their scheduled Feb. 3 meeting.

The eight- to nine-story tower would increase existing pediatric beds from 164 to 195 and include an eight-room operating suite and expanded pediatric specialty clinics. It will cost an estimated $271 million.

University officials proposed scaling back the overall project to about $550 million amid a faltering economy, and the project stalled as the hospital struggled with faltering revenue. But this year hospital officials have reported strong finances and better than expected operating margins.

Other projects include $63 million to complete renovations of Colloton Pavilion inpatient units, $40 million for a proton beam project and $45 million for orthopedics clinical and research facilities, among others.

Most projects will be funded by routine annual funding, but the towers will need other funding, according to the report.

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Information from: Iowa City Press-Citizen, http://www.press-citizen.com/