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St. Luke’s Downtown expansion enters a new phase. What’s coming next, and after that

A sky bridge will connect the coming Children’s Pavilion, left, to the St. Luke’s Children’s Hospital. The outpatient pavilion will allow the Downtown Boise hospital to bring together pediatric doctors, nurses and other support staff in a one-stop shop for patients.
A sky bridge will connect the coming Children’s Pavilion, left, to the St. Luke’s Children’s Hospital. The outpatient pavilion will allow the Downtown Boise hospital to bring together pediatric doctors, nurses and other support staff in a one-stop shop for patients.

Work is beginning on a key part of the multiyear expansion at St. Luke’s Boise Medical Center.

St. Luke’s Health System is beginning to build the $42 million Idaho Elks Children’s Pavilion, an addition to St. Luke’s Children’s Hospital that will more than double the amount of clinical space for treating children.

The four-story addition will be located at the corner of Jefferson Street and Avenue B, across the street from the main hospital building. It will connect to the existing children’s hospital through a skybridge over Avenue B.

The outpatient pavilion which will include 83,866 square feet of space and an underground parking garage. It will bring together most of the hospital’s 150 pediatric specialists along with 400 nurses, therapists and other caregivers. That will make it easier to schedule multiple medical appointments for a patient at one time, said St. Luke’s spokeswoman Anita Kissee.

“The centralized location allows families to make one trip in a day, rather than requiring multiple stops, over several days, spread out around town,” Kissee said.

Families to find a parking space under the building and walk a short distance to an elevator to take them to a welcome center on the first floor, where they will check-in for their appointments, she said.

“It’s as seamless and easy as it can be for them,” Kissee said.

Initial plans had called for construction to begin last summer and for the building to be completed late this year. St. Luke’s now expects the pavilion to open in mid-2019.

Donations will cover $22 million of the cost.

Next: A Parking Garage And Central Plant

Meanwhile, the hospital has submitted plans for a central heating and cooling plant combined with a six-story parking garage between First and Second streets, north of Jefferson.

The central plant, which also provides emergency power and medical gases, would replace an aging plant located at First and Jefferson. The garage would include two levels of parking below ground with room for 1,130 vehicles.

The Boise Planning and Zoning Commission will hold a hearing at 6 p.m. Monday, May 7, at Boise City Hall to consider a conditional use permit. The hospital is seeking a variance to exceed a height restriction by 15 feet to allow for an 89-foot-tall elevator tower and stairs to reach the top floor of a medical office building, planned for later, that would be connected to the central plant building.

The hospital is also seeking a variance for setback restrictions that require buildings be located at least 20 feet from property lines facing the street. The hospital said it would lose critical space if required to obey those restrictions.

Other changes planned or under way on the campus include:

The Children’s Hospital also will expand within the east wing of the main hospital building.

The hospital will be expanded north, adding outpatients clinics and physician offices. They are designed to be close to patients, labs and testing facilities.

The Mountain States Tumor Institute will expand into space vacated by children’s services that are moving to the Children’s Pavilion.

Renovations in the main hospital tower will include critical-care units, labor and baby delivery, and emergency and operating rooms. Sixty new patient rooms will be added.

St. Luke's filing of a permit application for the heating and cooling plant and parking garage was first reported by BuildZoom, which tracks commercial construction projects.

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