BJC May Boost 1st & 2nd Phase Expansion Budget by $150 Million, November Demolition Expected

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According to WhoLou sources BJC is considering increasing the first and second phase budget for their $1.2 billion multi-phase Kingshighway campus expansion to $600 million. The first two phases were initially expected to be completed within three years at a cost of $450 million. Independent sources allege that BJC representative Jacobs Engineering believes the review is necessary due to higher costs associated with the design by project architect HOK .

The long term expansion is expected to take 10 years to complete and is one of the largest and most expensive healthcare projects in the U.S. It will modernize the 16-block Central West End medical campus which includes Barnes-Jewish Hospital, St. Louis Children’s Hospital, and the Washington University School of Medicine. The project is expected to create several thousand jobs and add nearly 2 million sq. ft. of new construction and renovated space. MetroLink’s Central West End light rail station will also be overhauled as a component of the project.

{the existing Central West End station, the system's most heavily trafficked, will see a complete overhaul}

Sources believe that BJC will most likely increase the phase one and two budget but not likely as high as $600 million. The expansion is being managed by the ACW Alliance which consists of Alberici, Clayco, and S.M. Wilson. Demolition firms are expected to be chosen by October with work set to begin immediately thereafter in November or December. Sources further allege the existing foundations of two buildings slated for the wrecking ball will be kept intact. BJC expects the first two new buildings of the project to be completed by 2017.

The first phase will concentrate on the north campus and includes an expansion of Children’s Hospital with enlarged diagnostics and treatment spaces. Additionally the project calls for more space for faculty practice clinics, community physician practices, and expanded clinical care at the Siteman Cancer Center. The original Jewish Hospital on the site, and the Steinberg and Yalem building additions as well as the original Jewish Hospital School of Nursing building will be demolished as part of the project. City approval for these demolitions was granted in March as reported by nextSTL. (Massing study for north campus phase at right)

The south end of the campus will focus on increased critical care and private rooms. Both phases of the project are expected to include changes to parking, traffic flow, and will be designed to allow for easier navigation by patients and visitors. An attempt to reach BJC vice president of corporate and public communications June Fowler for comment was unsuccessful.

The budget increase would not be the first unexpected big change for the project. In July of 2012 WhoLou reported that BJC had replaced their original representative  Gilbane with current representative Jacobs Engineering. Shortlisted general contractors were stunned that the switch had been made this late in the selection process. They allegedly found out when Jacobs representatives greeted them at their final interviews which were expected to be conducted by Gilbane.

Sources further allege the relationship between former BJC vice president of planning, design, and construction Steve Cockerham and Gilbane was always an uneasy one. Cockerham was very instrumental in both orchestrating the last minute project manager switch and hiring HOK according to WhoLou sources.

WhoLou first reported that by December of 2012 (five months post Gilbane/Jacobs switch) Cockerham had left BJC for Jacobs Engineering. According to Linkedin Cockerham is currently working on the Cleveland Clinic currently under construction in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

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  • Peter Thacher

    I’d heard at some point in the past that BJC wanted to move the Metrolink station to Kingshighway and have it underground, which would probably be nice aesthetically but not really practical otherwise. The bus station is at Taylor and the closed off portion of Euclid really is the center of the medical station anyway. I hope that that is not what they still have in mind.

    • Alex Ihnen

      That has been floated more than once, but it appears to be a dead idea.

      • jhoff1257

        I think the expense would be huge for something not really needed. Besides the current station sits nearly in the middle of the medical center and on Euclid Avenue which, in my opinion, is the commercial heart of the Central West End. I honestly think some really nice landscaping and some artwork on all those buildings and retaining walls would be a nice improvement. Though I am very interested in seeing a rendering of a redesigned CWE Station.

  • T-Leb

    I’d be interested to see what the new CWE Metrolink station would look like, I always enjoyed seeing BJC mechanical buildings while going thru.

    • Presbyterian

      You hate to mess with perfection. What patient wouldn’t be comforted by the parking garage and steam pipes?

      • T-Leb

        I didn’t think patient rooms faced that way, at least I never saw any when I was looking in from the platform/train. I imagine all that mechanical will stay put, would seem an insane undertaking to move it.

        • Don

          There are very few patient rooms in that enormous campus which is interesting by itself.

          • Roscoe Lee Brown

            Insurance companies will not pay for overnight stays; ergo, decreased need for patient care rooms. Most of the patient care rooms in the old Jewish Hospital Kingshighway Building do not have patients. The new Shriners Hospital at Clayton and Boyle will have no overnight patient rooms; everything will be done on an outpatient basis.

          • C. Danger

            It’s a medical campus with 15K employees where people are treated for illness, receive organ transplants, etc. that require overnight stays, but it’s also where the human genome is sequenced, where people travel for dialysis and outpatient chemo, as well as allergy shots and you-name-it. No surprise the area isn’t packed with overnight rooms. That said, I believe the BJC expansion will nearly double the number of rooms there. Boomers are aging and require more and longer hospital stays. While many more procedures are outpatient than ever before, there’s still demand for more beds.

          • samizdat

            Actually, my insurance company paid for my three night stay post-surgery. All but about 600USD, anyway. Which was a relief, as that four days I was in the hospital was billed at 20,000USD. However, the diagnosis phases, follow-up, Drs. fees, etc. have meant my wife and I have paid out that amount in cash (or, out-of-pocket, if you prefer) and maybe more over the last four years. Dog Bless ‘Merka!

          • DrDrew

            It’s a 1200-bed hospital – that’s pretty big. They will transition to more private rooms with the expansion.

          • samizdat

            Do you think they can get some post-surgery beds which are NOT designed by the Marquis de Sade?

          • Don

            1200 beds sounds like a lot of beds, but those 1200 beds are not all in one hospital. Put another way, that is 75 beds per sq block of campus, which isn’t very many at all.

            I was very surprised when I learned the enormous BJ South Hospital (what most St Louisians think of as Barnes) everyone sees as they exit 64/40 has only 2 floors of beds.

            This isn’t meant as a criticism, just an observation.