Children’s Hospital planning $265 million expansion of surgery space, emergency department

Will include six-story, 237,000-square-foot building addition

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Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin plans to invest $265 million over the next four years in a series of facility projects that will include a 237,000-square-foot building addition and the expansion of the emergency department at its main Wauwatosa campus.


Officials said the projects are part of a long-term plan to vacate and replace existing areas with more “family-friendly and clinically efficient space” at the hospital on the Milwaukee Regional Medical Campus.

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The most visible project is a planned six-story addition that will connect the hospital to the Children’s Clinics building on Connell Drive. The new structure will house specialty clinics and allow the hospital to consolidate all surgical services onto one floor. Children’s operating rooms are currently on two different floors within the hospital.

That reconfiguration will increase operating efficiency and improve the experience for patients and families, officials said.

“One of the things our team is most excited about is creating an environment where we have private prep and recovery space,” said Scott Turner, chief operating officer of Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin. “We know that’s an important amenity for the families, from maintaining confidentiality to providing the best and safest care.”

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The hospital also plans to renovate and enlarge its emergency department and trauma center by about 11,000 square feet. The project will add 10 more treatment rooms, bringing the hospital’s total to 44. The expansion will accommodate the hospital’s growth in emergency department visits, which have increased by 14 percent over the last decade. As part of the project, the emergency department entrance and waiting area will be relocated.

“For thousands of families each year, the emergency department is their first experience with Children’s,” Sato said. “As a Level 1 trauma center, this project will allow us to better care for severely sick and injured children and their families.”

Marc Cadieux, chief financial officer of Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, said the projects are the result of campus planning work that has taken place over the last two or three years. Officials said Children’s has “planned and budgeted” for the capital improvements, and that philanthropic support will “influence programs, services and amenities” in the new space.

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CHW has invested in several new outpatient facilities in recent years, including a new 30,000-square-foot clinic in Kenosha, a 40,000 square-foot primary and specialty care clinic in Mequon and an outpatient clinic at Midtown Center on Milwaukee’s north side.

“Since Children’s moved to our current location in 1988, the hospital has become one of the leading pediatric centers in the country, allowing families in Wisconsin to get the care they need right in Wisconsin,” said Thomas Sato, CEO of Children’s Specialty Group. “Just like our investments in the Milwaukee Midtown Clinic and primary and specialty care clinics in Mequon and Kenosha, this project is designed to support our vision that Wisconsin kids be the healthiest in the nation.”

Construction on the building addition is expected to begin late this year 2018 or early 2019. It is expected to be operational in 2021. The emergency department renovation is expected to begin in 2019, with targeted completion in 2022.

Children’s has retained Cannon Design as the project architect and The Boldt Company as the general contractor and construction manager.

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