UI Hospitals looks to expand in Coralville

BY AMY MATTSON | JULY 08, 2009 7:21 AM

Campus is getting crowded — at least for the UI Hospitals and Clinics. The organization is planning to expand, seeking state Board of Regents’ approval for an off-site building project.

Despite experiencing recent revenue shortfalls, the current proposal aims to open a clinical care services branch in the Iowa River Landing district, just south of Interstate 80 exit 242 in Coralville. The plan calls for purchasing approximately 20 acres from the city for six new buildings.

Details about what the proposed facility would house have yet to be determined, said UI spokesman Tom Moore. Funding will come from capital development funds, he said, not taxpayer dollars.

Capital development funds include cash reserves, philanthropic revenue, and loan dollars. They are separate from revenue streams used to pay faculty and staff, he said.

Moore did not know the estimated cost of the project, but he indicated that negotiations were moving forward.

The hospital administration this year cut $45 million in expenses for fiscal 2010 and laid off 130 employees.

UI officials have discussed the expansion project with the regents, and they will submit a request to continue with a more specific proposal at an undisclosed time.

Regent President David Miles said he has not yet received the project application.

“The U.S. economy and the finances of our regent institutions have obviously changed a great deal since those initial conversations,” he said.

The project was developed in conjunction with children’s hospital and critical-care tower building efforts. It will aid eventual plans to house all UIHC patients in single rooms and meet increasing demands for services.

The expansion is also intended to reduce congestion in and around the main hospital.

“Our goal was to provide an off-site location for clinical care that would be convenient and accessible to patients and visitors,” Moore said.

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