Council views UIHC medical facility site plan

by Gigi Wood

CORALVILLE – While an outpatient facility is in the planning stages, officials are already looking at expansion.

Design renderings were presented for the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics Ambulatory Care Clinic Facility July 13 at the Coralville City Council’s work session. At the meeting, Gordon Williams, chief operating officer of UI Health Care, said the organization will likely consider a future expansion of the facility.

“We’ve thought about a stage two, and the current thinking is it would probably be on the other (south) side of Ninth Street,” Mr. Williams said.

If that happened, UIHC would utilize a tunnel that extends north-south under East Ninth Street. The existing tunnel is at the entry of the planned medical facility and could be used to connect the clinic to an expanded medical facility south of East Ninth Street.

“There could be a tunnel connector,” he said.

UIHC officials decided to locate the proposed $73 million, five-story, 150,000 gross-square-foot medical facility on the north side of Ninth Street near the Coralville Marriott within the Iowa River Landing District. They will likely present designs for the facility to the Board of Regents at its Aug. 4 meeting in Ames.

The building is expected to earn LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) certification and use several energy efficient systems, such as heating and cooling. The design includes plenty of natural lighting.

“We’ve got great daylighting and I think we’re looking for a very healing, light-filled environment for the patient entry,” said Kevin Monson, president of Neumann Monson. “A lot of time has been put into making sure that light isn’t harsh, is very patient friendly.”

The exterior will include brick and limestone with a metal as well as a mix of clear and translucent glass façade at the entry. Mr. Monson also presented samples of limestone, metal and other stone that could be used in the project.

“Oliver McMillan wants us to use a variety of different brick but still all in the same brick family,” he said.

Neumann Monson has been working with Oliver McMillan, the developer hired by the city to identify and secure commercial and residential projects for the Iowa River Landing District.

“This is a project that has been in development since December 2008. Some of you were probably at the charrette when this all began. We’ve been working hand-in-hand with Oliver McMillan, with their consultants, with the city of Coralville,” he said. “There have been a lot of cooks in the kitchen, so we’re thankful to be at this point and to have made it this far.”

Retail and restaurants are expected to be located in a building just east of the clinic along East Ninth Street. A city parking ramp will be constructed to the north of the clinic, providing two floors of parking and direct access to the medical facility. A healing garden, playground and green space will likely surround the clinic. A roundabout could be added at East Ninth Street and the extended East Second Avenue.

There will be a staff entrance in the rear of the building and an adjacent outdoor break area and green space.

“Providing great customer service means you also have to provide a great staff and physician experience in order to have a great patient experience, so providing little amenities like this for our staff is going to be very important,” Mr. Williams said.

The facility will accommodate 300,000 annual patient visits and house 225 staff members on a 1.2-acre lot. It will move portions of several outpatient clinics from UIHC’s main campus on Hawkins Drive to First Avenue, diverting 20 percent of the hospital’s outpatient traffic to the new location. Outpatient clinics include general internal medicine, general pediatrics, women’s health services, cardiology, cardiac rehab, dermatology, diabetic center, gastroenterology, general surgery, ophthalmology, rehabilitation services, pain clinic, otolaryngology, urology, radiology and pharmacy.