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Updated 2:30 PM July 7, 2005




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U-M Health System creates long-term framework
for growth of medical campuses

Construction crews are hard at work on several buildings that will help the U-M Health System (UMHS) meet surging demand for its nationally recognized medical care, research and education. At the same time, UMHS leaders are looking to the future with a new master plan that gives a framework for long-term expansion opportunities.
Regent Katherine E. White (front) and Vice President for Government Relations Cynthia Wilbanks add their signatures to a steel beam that will be used during construction of the Cardiovascular Center (CVC) on the Medical Campus. Several University officials took part in the traditional ceremony June 22 to mark the halfway point in construction. The CVC is expected to open in early 2007. The new facility will boost the center's mission of providing children and adults with congenital heart disease access to a scope of services and quality of care that few centers nationwide can match. (Photo by Paul Jaronski, U-M Photo Services)

The plan, presented June 16 to the Board of Regents, maps out the opportunity for UMHS to build new facilities totaling about 3 million square feet during the next decade or two in three Ann Arbor locations already owned by the University. The potential buildings would add to the nearly 6 million square feet already in existence or under construction in the core medical campus.

At the same time, the plan considers how people will flow into and through all of the areas. Parking and transportation options, enhanced pedestrian flow, open space and environmental stewardship all receive detailed attention in the plan.

"As we look to the future, when more patients will need our services, more scientists will need research space, and more students will train for tomorrow's careers, we will rely on this plan to guide our growth," says Dr. Robert Kelch, executive vice president for medical affairs and chief executive officer of UMHS. "Our physical landscape should be just as cohesive as our Health System aims to be."

Kelch notes that the new master plan ties closely with the recently completed strategic direction document, which lays out the principles that guide UMHS, the goals and targets that it will aim for in coming years, and the external opportunities and issues that likely will have an impact on its operations.

He also notes that the plan will help UMHS strengthen connections and cooperation with schools and colleges on the central and north campuses. "The U-M is one of few institutions in the nation where leading medical, health sciences, business, engineering and law schools are located so close together and we need to strengthen those connections," he says.

University Planner Sue Gott reviewed the plan, which will be presented more widely this summer. Some of the highlights include:

• Potential building opportunities in three areas:

   • The Medical Center campus core with the major Hospitals & Health Centers clinical facilities and Medical School research and education buildings;

   • The Wall Street area just across the Huron River from the core Medical Campus, with the existing Kellogg Eye Center;

   • The East Medical Campus on Plymouth Road, with the East Ann Arbor Health Center and two buildings already under construction.

• Transit options for parking, bus service, bicycle facilities and amenities that will provide convenient access to Health System facilities while enhancing traffic flow and addressing staff demand and limited space for vehicles.

• Integration of physical facilities with the natural environment and community.

"This plan provides a flexible framework within which the Health System can respond to future opportunities, foster connectivity and collaboration within and between different units, and offer a pleasing environment for patients, faculty, staff, students and visitors," Gott says.

The plan lays out approximately 3 million gross square feet of potential buildings, including approximately 1 million square feet of clinical space for the women's and children's replacement hospital project approved by the regents in April. That facility, currently being designed, is scheduled for groundbreaking in 2006 with completion by 2011.

Not included in that total are facilities now under construction or recently completed, including:

• The Biomedical Science Research Building (BSRB), scheduled to open in early 2006 at the southern edge of the Medical Campus. It will provide 470,000 square feet of research laboratories, life science support facilities and a 300-seat auditorium.

• The Cardiovascular Center, scheduled to open in 2007 at the heart of the Medical Campus with a 350,000-square-foot clinical building and adjoining 465-space parking deck.

• The East Ann Arbor Ambulatory Surgery and Medical Procedures Center, a 46,000-square-foot outpatient diagnostic and treatment facility on the East Ann Arbor medical campus that will open in 2006.

• The Rachel Upjohn Building on the East Ann Arbor medical campus, which will house the Depression Center as well as outpatient psychiatry and substance abuse clinics, and will open in late 2006.

• The renovation of space at the Briarwood medical complex in south Ann Arbor for the relocation of the Center for Reproductive Medicine.

• A new cyclotron facility for Medical School research involving short-lived radionuclides.

• A 530-space parking structure currently being built on Ann Street near the BSRB.

• New medical imaging facilities at University Hospital and C.S. Mott Children's Hospital.

In the Medical Campus core, the master plan looks at redevelopment opportunities in areas on Zina Pitcher Place, including the current site of the Kresge complex of buildings built in the 1950s and the area immediately south of the Molecular and Biological Neuroscience Building (formerly Mental Health Research Institute).

In the Wall Street area, the plan envisions a mix of clinical, research, administrative, education, parking and transit facilities in 725,000 square feet on a 10-acre area, as well as amenities to make a pedestrian friendly area that's integrated with the Lower Town neighborhood.

At the East Medical Campus, the plan lays out the possibility of up to 800,000 square feet of facilities, and associated parking and transit, located southeast of the buildings already in place or under construction.

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