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UT Regents Give Go-ahead for New Clinical Facility at M. D. Anderson

UT Regents Give Go-ahead for New Clinical Facility at M. D. Anderson
M. D. Anderson News Release 05/11/00

Expansion continues in Houston's Texas Medical Center as The University of Texas System Board of Regents May 11 gave a green light to planning construction of a new ambulatory clinical building at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center.

Meeting in Austin, the Regents amended M. D. Anderson's capital improvement program and the FY2000-2005 capital budget to include the new building and accompanying garage at a preliminary project cost of $299 million. The Regents also appropriated $240 million in revenue bonds and $59 million in revenues generated by M. D. Anderson to fund it.

"This is a significant step toward the continued, managed growth of M. D. Anderson's activities to care for patients with cancer," said Dr. John Mendelsohn, president. "We have experienced unprecedented demand for services over the past several years, and we now must accelerate our long-range plans of developing new patient care facilities on our campus."

The 600,000-square-foot ambulatory clinical building is anticipated to be a 12- to 15-story facility housing outpatient clinics, diagnostic imaging services, treatment and surgical areas, patient care services and staff offices. Plans are being developed for construction. The favored site at the present time is on the south side of Holcombe Boulevard, across the street from the main cancer center complex, adjacent to the UT Houston Main Building, which houses numerous M. D. Anderson administrative offices. The project will also include roadway and site improvements to support traffic and parking needs generated by the development.

The new facility is planned to connect to M. D. Anderson's main complex via an above- grade pedestrian bridge that will cross Holcombe Boulevard.

Last year M. D. Anderson recorded 409,443 outpatient clinic visits, treatments and procedures, an increase of 11 percent over 368,605 in 1998. According to Dr. Mendelsohn, continued growth in research and patient care activities is projected over the next five years.

"We are developing strategies to manage significant growth in the years ahead, with coordinated planning for the necessary additional people, facilities, financial resources and operating efficiencies," he said.

In other action at today's meeting, UT Regents approved plans to expand the scope of M. D. Anderson's new Basic Science Research Building (BSRB), which will be constructed immediately north of and connected to the existing cancer center complex. Originally planned to be 425,000 square feet, the building now totals more than 440,000 square feet. Regents approved a budget increase from $137.2 million to $174.6 million to accommodate the larger facility and appropriated $37.4 million in hospital and clinic revenues to cover the additional cost.

The BSRB will be the first facility built on a new integrated research campus fostering collaboration among multiple Texas Medical Center institutions. The campus eventually could feature up to six interconnected buildings, creating a unified research complex. Construction of the BSRB is expected to begin this fall, with project completion in 2003. It will be built in part on K-Lot, a Texas Medical Center surface parking lot located northwest of M. D. Anderson.

Funding for the BSRB project will come from institutional funds and private philanthropy, according to Dr. Mendelsohn. The goal is to raise $75 million in philanthropic funds for the new research facility, and a naming opportunity is available.

Meanwhile, construction continues on several facility projects currently under way at the National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center.

  • Construction of a 13-story, 325,000-square-foot Faculty Center located directly across Holcombe Boulevard from the cancer center's main complex continues on schedule with occupancy expected this fall.
  • Expansion of the 198-room Jesse H. Jones Rotary House International patient/family hotel by an additional 124 rooms and an adjoining garage continues on schedule with completion expected by 2001.
  • Build-out of the 12th floor of M. D. Anderson's Albert B. and Margaret M. Alkek Hospital, which opened in January 1999, now has a completion date of late 2000. Originally constructed as "shell space" for future growth, the floor's completion has been accelerated to meet the demand for inpatient beds. The new unit will add 51 beds, including 26 dedicated to immunosuppressed patients.

Last year M. D. Anderson tracked 16,499 inpatient admissions, an increase of 3.6 percent over 1998. Average daily census was 347 in 1999, compared to 335 in 1998.


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