2 city hospitals plan additions, upgrading

February 15, 1991|By Edward Gunts

Administrators at two city medical centers are moving ahead with plans to spend a total of more than $130 million to construct major additions and otherwise upgrade their physical plants over the next several years.

The University of Maryland Medical Center is in the final stages of selecting an architectural team to design the next big project on its downtown campus, a $70 million "clinical tower" at the northwest corner of Lombard and Greene streets.

World-renowned architects such as I. M. Pei and Robert Venturi are members of teams still in the running for the commission, as are local firms such as RTKL Associates; Peterson and Brickbauer; Columbia Design Collective; Cho, Wilks and Benn; and Hord Coplan Macht.

Francis Scott Key Medical Center also is planning to launch a $61 million project this year that will include construction of a seven-story building with 191 beds and renovation of older buildings on its Eastern Avenue campus.

Francis Scott Key representatives presented plans to Baltimore's Design Advisory Panel yesterday that call for construction of a 250,000-square-foot building that would replace most of the hospital's existing inpatient beds and provide specialized facilities such as a new emergency room and operating rooms.

Thomas Pokorny, director of facilities planning and redevelopment, said the project is an effort by the medical center to remain competitive with area hospitals by upgrading its facilities.

Mr. Pokorny said Francis Scott Key is licensed by the state to operate 315 beds and will not exceed that number with the project. He said the 191 new beds will replace beds in older facilities and that those buildings will either be renovated for other uses or demolished to make way for future construction.

Some of the older buildings house patients four to a room; the new building will have only private and semi-private rooms, he said.

The new building also will have critical-care beds, new diagnostic facilities such as imaging and new food-service facilities.

Most of the funds for the project -- $55.6 million -- are coming from the sale of bonds. The hospital is seeking a state grant of $2.5 million this spring and will match that grant with other funds it raises, spokeswoman Gail Adams said.

If the project receives all of the approvals it needs, work will begin this spring and be completed in 1993, Mr. Pokorny said. RTKL Associates is the architect for the project and the medical center's master plan.

For the University of Maryland Medical Center, more than 140 teams originally expressed interest in designing the 266,000-square-foot clinical tower, which would contain 149 inpatient beds, many of which would replace beds in the medical center's south tower, built in 1933. Expected to rise about nine stories, the clinical tower also would be the site of the medical center's cancer center and neuroscience center as well as a number of intensive care beds.

Finalists vying to design the project include groups headed by: Ellerbe Becket with I. M. Pei as design consultant: Hansen Lind Meyer with Venturi, Rauch and Scott Brown; David Childs of Skidmore Owings and Merrill; Shepley Bullfinch Richardson and Abbott; and Zeidler Roberts Partnership.

Other finalists include a joint venture of RTKL Associates and Peterson and Brickbauer; Columbia Design Collective with Payette Associates; Anshen and Allen with Hord Coplan Macht; and Stone Marraccini and Patterson with Cho, Wilks & Benn. A group headed by The Architects Collaborative was identified as a 10th finalist but later dropped out.

A member of one finalist team said there hasn't been such spirited bidding for a local project since architects were selected in 1989 for the $200 million Christopher Columbus Center for Marine Research and Exploration.

University of Maryland officials say they hope to narrow the list of finalists to four by Feb. 26, interview the final candidates and make a decision by early April. Medical center administrators are being advised on the selection process by a group that includes board members Robert C. Embry Jr., Neil Muldrow and Stewart Greenbaum.

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