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Press Releases

UC Health Moves Forward on Clifton Campus Revitalization

Mar. 24, 2021

CINCINNATI - Demolition underway, renderings unveiled on $251 million transformation.


UC Health, Greater Cincinnati’s academic health system, is taking the next step in its Clifton Campus Revitalization, including unveiling renderings of its new facilities and beginning demolition to make way for a $251 million investment across the 14-acre campus. It is the largest construction project in the health system’s history.

“The investments we are making in our facilities, our services and our people will help us truly transform patient care and access across our Clifton Campus,” said Evaline Alessandrini, MD, executive vice president, chief medical officer and interim chief operating officer. “As we’ve responded to the needs of our community like never before over the past year, we’ve continued to move forward on building the future for UC Health and how we care for our region.”

The project is anchored by a new Emergency Department, Surgical Building, Front Entrance and Main Lobby.

“We’re excited to share this next step in our journey and give Cincinnati a glimpse at the future of our Clifton Campus,” said Bob Feldbauer, vice president of facilities for UC Health. “These new facilities will reflect the world-class care that is provided within our walls each day for our friends and neighbors.”

New Emergency Department and Surgical Building

The project includes a significant expansion and renovation of the 30-year-old Emergency Department at UC Medical Center and the construction of a four-story building to add operating room capacity at the hospital. In addition, two new parking structures for patients, visitors and employees are being planned that will add 1,300 parking spaces at the Clifton campus.

“It has been a true collaborative, group effort to reach this point, and seeing what’s to come inspires our whole team,” said Arthur Pancioli, MD, Professor and Richard C. Levy Chair of Emergency Medicine at the UC College of Medicine and a UC Health physician. “As the region’s academic health system and only adult Level I trauma center, it’s our privilege to care for the most complex and critically ill patients across our community – and these new facilities will help us bring even more hope to Cincinnati.”

The surgical building is expected to open in early 2023, followed by the new Emergency Department building in summer 2023.

The global firm CannonDesign is overseeing project design, and Cincinnati-based Messer Construction Co. is managing construction. Ohio-based HPlex Solutions serves as the owner’s representative to manage the project.

CannonDesign’s team includes several experienced engineering and planning firms: Heapy Engineering, THP and The Kleingers Group. The team also includes Blue Cottage of CannonDesign, a multi-dimensional health consultancy that helps systems align processes, strategies, operations and real estate. Messer’s team includes TriVersity Construction Group.

All UC Health construction projects include at least 40 percent inclusion of minority and women-owned sub-contractors.

UC Medical Center Front Entrance & Main Lobby

Additionally, work is underway on a $15 million renovation of the front entrance and main lobby at UC Medical Center, which will improve accessibility of UC Health services and destinations. The front entrance includes an improved drive, sidewalks, landscaping, lighting, canopy, wayfinding, and patient drop-off, the main lobby includes improved services, central registration, new artwork, and contemporary materials to provide patients and visitors with a calming arrival experience.

The UC Medical Center front entrance and main lobby renovation team includes Danis Construction, GBBN Architects, THP and Heapy Engineering. 

Both projects were announced in 2019 and projected to begin in 2020. While the ED and Surgery building planning and design progressed throughout 2020, the front entrance and main lobby construction was temporarily suspended due to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Funding comes from operational dollars, financing and, for the Emergency Department, a $20 million capital campaign.

Physical changes to the Clifton Campus began in December 2020, and the projects will occur in a cascading manner over the next five years. Patient care will not be interrupted.

UC Health’s Clifton Campus spans 14 acres in the heart of Cincinnati’s Uptown district, and it includes 17 buildings that total 1.7 million gross square feet. All construction will occur within UC Health’s existing footprint, as the health system innovates to provide world-class care in a healing environment.

The Clifton Campus Revitalization is part of a long-term Campus Master Facility Plan approved by the UC Health Board of Directors in August 2019. The plan is the result of several years of study, led by a committee of clinical and operational leadership from across the health system.

The Clifton Campus Revitalization includes:

  • Expand the UC Medical Center Emergency Department (ED) onto an adjacent vacant lot. The 46,000 square-foot addition will improve capacity and patient flow, including reconfigured access for patient arrivals via ambulance and private vehicles. The UC Medical Center B Pavilion will be demolished to accommodate the new ED, and clinical units and administrative offices within this pavilion have been relocated.
  • Renovate the existing 35,000 square-foot ED to provide additional emergency response ability and “surge” capacity for emergency and crisis situations. In FY20, UC Health had 114,402 emergency department and trauma visits and received more than 8,000 patient transfers from other health systems.
  • Build three additional floors above the new Emergency Department to accommodate an observation unit, a Flexible ICU unit, a shelled floor for future inpatient care use and a top mechanical floor that will enable a future vertical build of the tower.
  • Construct a four-story infill building in the “back porch” area of UC Medical Center near Mont Reid Pavilion to accommodate eight additional operating rooms and other clinical support space. This necessitated the demolition of the radiology administrative building and the old operating pavilion. Outpatient clinics and administrative offices were relocated, and demolition began in December 2020 and was completed earlier this month. The hospital’s historic surgical amphitheater, restored in 2005, was preserved.
  • Construct two new parking structures on the campus of 3200 Burnet to accommodate the increased patient care in Ridgeway Tower and to provide additional parking for employees. This will include the demolition of Greenwood Hall, which has been vacant for many years.