University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics request three capital improvement projects for patient observation rooms, intake bays

University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics asked the state Board of Regents to approve capital improvement projects that will be constructed in the next year on Wednesday.


Tate Hildyard

University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics are seen on Tuesday, June 23, 2020.

Sabine Martin, News Editor

University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics requested three capital improvement projects for approval at the state Board of Regents meeting Wednesday, including the addition of 30 new patient observation rooms and 13 intake bays across UIHC facilities.

UIHC is requesting permission to proceed with project planning for the replacement of UIHC’s emergency power generators, as well.

The projects will be presented to the full governing board for approval at a later time.

Rod Lehnertz, UI senior vice president for finance and operations, said the generators are regularly tested, but have not had to be used since they were installed.

Lehnertz told the regents the generators were added when UIHC expanded the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital.

The project will replace two diesel generators in the main UI hospital with a single larger generator, Lehnertz told the regents.

“The existing diesel generators in the hospital… serving the Roy Carver Pavilion in the Pomerantz Family Pavilion are more than 40-years-old and are beyond their anticipated useful life,” he said.

Lehnertz said if given permission to proceed with the project’s planning, the generators would be funded by UIHC’s usage funds and have an estimated cost of $30-35 million.

The second capital project requested by UIHC is for the approval of the schematic design and budget to create 30 new patient observation rooms in the UIHC John Colloton Pavilion Expand Observation Unit for orthopedic and emergency department patients.

“It is a 15,000 square foot project in the lower level of the John Colloton Pavilion,” Lehnertz said.

The project will have a budget of $13.43 million and will be funded by UIHC’s usage funds. Lehnertz said construction would start in the fall of this year and be completed in the winter or end of 2022.

UIHC’s third project request is for the schematic design and budget for the expansion of cancer patient intake in the UIHC Pomerantz Family Pavilion.

This expanded intake would be a 2,900-square foot waiting space, with 13 new intake bays, on level one of the Pomerantz Family Pavilion.

Lehnertz said the project’s budget is $2.28 million, which will be funded by the UIHC usage fund. He said the project will take about a year to complete.

“The amount of coverage and the amount of patient traffic in and associated with the Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center patient is as many as 300 to 350 visits associated with that part of the hospital each day,” he said. “So, you can imagine how important this part of the hospital operation is for our patients and for the care of the patients.”

The regents also approved the sale, award, and issuance of two series of Hospital Revenue and Refunding Bonds.

After eight bids, Wells Fargo & Company was the winning bidder and the issuance cost of the bond is an estimated $112,295,000.

The second Hospital Revenue and Refunding bond has an issuance value of an estimated $147,775,000. JPMorgan Chase & Co. had the highest bid.

Together, the two series of bonds were issued at an estimated $261,070,000.

Some of the funds accrued Wednesday will go to the UIHC capital projects to pay a portion of the costs of construction, regents President Michael Richards said during the final vote.