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HACKENSACK, NJ-Ground has been broken on the campus of the prestigious Hackensack University Medical Center for a $117 million, 300,000-sf expansion relating to pediatric and maternal care. The new freestanding building, which will be the largest single facility on the hospital’s campus, is expected to be ready for use by early 2006. The project has been in the works for at least a decade, and actual construction is slated to begin next month.

The new building will be called the Sarkis Gabrellian Women’s and Children’s Pavilion, named for the late real estate developer and long-time benefactor of the institution, which consistently ranks among the top 20 hospitals in the US. The six-story pavilion will house two separate facilities, the Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital and the Kazmir Women’s Hospital. It will also be linked, via skywalk, to the existing Don Imus-WFAN Pediatric Center for Tomorrow’s Children, an outpatient facility. The two operating units will have separate entrances.

The project will also be done without any borrowing. Most of the money for construction of the new complex will come from operating funds generated by the sprawling medical complex, according to the institution’s chief executive officer, John P. Ferguson. A total of about $40 million, however, will come from HUMC’s foundation in the form of donations and other philanthropic gifts.

The pediatric portion of the pavilion will encompass a total of nearly 200 private rooms, increasing the on-campus pediatric capacity by about 50%, according to hospital officials. It will offer emergency care, as well as pediatric surgery and oncology, and bone marrow transplantation. The two operations combined will consolidate the hospital’s pediatric and maternal care facilities.

Besides the healthcare-related facilities, the expansion project will encompass about 150 surface parking spaces. A separate parking garage with another 560 parking spaces.

“We’re very excited about this project,” Ferguson said at the groundbreaking ceremony. “This project will position our hospital in obstetrics and pediatrics as second to none in the New York metropolitan area.

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