Hospital expansion

Mayo Clinic Health System in Mankato is looking at a four-story addition over a portion of the Mankato hospital that would bring 69 new hospital beds.

Mayo Clinic Health System in Mankato is looking at a four-story addition over a portion of the Mankato hospital that would bring rooms for 69 new hospital beds, along with staff areas, public space and a relocated helipad on the roof.

Architectural drawings show a curved addition atop a portion of the existing structure, located on the northeast corner of the hospital campus.

Plans call for the tower to be added over a five-year period and would increase patient rooms from the existing 171 rooms to 240 patient rooms.

There will be about 46,500 square feet per floor, for a total of 140,079 square feet.

Plans show a temporary helipad would be located in a parking lot along East Mulberry Street.

In a statement, Dr. James Hebl, regional vice president of the Southwest Minnesota region of Mayo Clinic Health System, said the project is still in the planning phase.

Mayo James Hebl

Dr. James Hebl, Mayo Clinic Health System regional vice president, shown here in 2017, provided a statement that included details of the hospital expansion plan in Mankato.

“While the bed tower expansion is not yet approved by Mayo Clinic leadership, we are seeking zoning review and approval of project plans from the city of Mankato, as well as conducting some on-campus preparatory work, to be ready to initiate construction should all necessary approvals be secured.

“Taking these preliminary steps does not guarantee the project will move forward.”

Mayo needs a variance from the city because the campus now has a building height limit of 75 feet and the proposed addition would be just over 81 feet high.

The hospital is also seeking a variance to allow for an increase in allowable signage on the campus.

In its request to the city, Mayo said the added building height is needed because of the complex structural problem of transferring the new weight loads down onto the existing structure.

“To solve the problem, the designers created a 4-foot-tall interstitial space. This space allows a structural platform to be built that will support the new bed tower as well as transfer the loads onto the existing columns.

“A secondary reason for the interstitial space is to allow mechanical, electrical, and plumbing to route piping and ductwork to the proper locations to feed both existing and new systems,” Mayo said in its request.

The application said the 15-foot floor-to-floor heights of the bed tower, which is higher than normal, would allow space above the ceilings to house mechanical, electrical, plumbing and structure while also providing adequate ceiling heights in the patient rooms.

Based on the total build-out, Mayo would be required to provide 1,230 off-street parking stalls based on all of the uses of the site. The applicant already provides 1,733 off-street parking stalls.

The exterior shows a combination of materials. The fourth, fifth and sixth floors of the building includes high-performance concrete panels, metal, glass and composite metal. The seventh floor of the building will be comprised of insulated metal panels.

New lighting for the addition will be limited to areas of signage and to bands of lighting that extend around the addition. Any new light fixtures and lighting components will be required to follow city code.

The latest plan follows a $65 million expansion at the hospital in 2018 and 2019 that brought 14 new high-tech operating rooms.

Hebl said at the time that the complex equipment integrated into the new operating rooms allows for more advanced surgeries to local patients.

“Providing a Mayo Clinic experience right here on our campus is important for us to provide to patients, and this is a major part of our effort to transform this campus into a premier regional medical center,” he said. “Just like we provide Mayo Clinic quality care, we want to provide Mayo Clinic quality facilities.”

Around the same time, Mayo added a new gastrointestinal endoscopy center on the hospital’s second floor, and a $5 million expansion and renovation of the orthopedic and sports medicine clinic on the first floor.

Last fall a $1 million exterior upgrade began to a nearly 300-foot segment of the former Madison East Center shopping mall, spiffing it up and rebranding it as Mayo Clinic Health System-Madison East Center.

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