DETROIT-St. John Hospital and Medical Center has opened its new 288,000-sf Van Eslander Pavilion medical building, part of a $163 million campus expansion here. The total expansion included the demolition of three buildings of 80,000 sf, and the new construction of more than 307,000 sf.

The hospital, a member of St. Louis-based Ascension Health, has worked on the project for a number of years, with the demolition and construction of a new materials management building and loading dock. Monday, the company opened the eight-story pavilion. The building includes a new hospital entrance, kitchen, cafeteria, outpatient laboratory and heart laboratories.

The top floors of the new building will fully open in January, and will feature 36 new private rooms on each floor, a key component of the new construction. “Our core facilities were built in 1952, and consumer expectations have changed,” Dave Sessions, VP for hospital affiliated services, tells “Customers want private rooms now, and physicians want to have the latest in technology. Also, we were able to consolidate many areas, so professionals and staff can work in areas close to the new technology.”

New space also allowed the company to add more emergency room space, adding 72 new private treatment rooms. The hospital sees more than 85,000 emergency room visits a year. The company is increasing its total bed space by 144 beds, to 740 beds.

The hospital brought in about $30 million in fundraising for the additions to the 15-acre campus. The rest of the construction costs come from returned earnings and loans, Sessions says.

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