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PHILADELPHIA-A new, $250-million, 1-million-sf Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh will locate at the site of the St. Francis Medical Center in Lawrenceville, PA. It was initially planned for the UPMC Montefiore campus in Pittsburgh’s Oakland suburb.

The move, according to a joint statement from the hospital and Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh Foundation, allows for a larger, free-standing pediatric campus with room for expansion near the University of Pittsburgh; will house all pediatric research under a single, new 200,000-sf facility; shorten the construction schedule by a year and reach completion in 2007, among other advantages.

According to a statement, much of the existing plan and design work developed for the Montefiore site will translate to the St. Francis location. The facility is expected to include an inpatient tower, ambulatory care facility, parking garage and new pediatric research facility.

As part of a contract agreement between Pittsburgh-based Highmark Inc., an HMO, and UPMC Health System, a healthcare provider affiliated with the University of Pittsburgh, Highmark will provide funding to Children’s Hospital to purchase the 10-acre, 11-building medical center in Lawrenceville. “Some of the existing buildings will be torn down, and others will join new construction on the campus,” DeAnn Aston Marshall, vice president of Children’s Hospital tells GlobeSt.com.

Children’s Hospital merged with UPMC last year, Marshall says. The statementsaid, “the decision to move (the hospital). . . does not relieve UPMC HealthSystem from any of its contractual obligations under the recent merger.”

Under the terms of the merger, UPMC agreed to build the new facility, estimated to cost $250 million, and assure another $250 million to expand Children’s clinical and research programs over the next 10 years. In addition, it will maintain the hospital’s open access policy.

Groundbreaking is expected early this winter.

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