Hennepin County Medical Center is moving ahead with plans to improve its outpatient facilities in downtown Minneapolis.
The Hennepin County Board has approved spending $10 million to acquire a city block directly across from HCMC's Emergency Department. The land will be the site of a new 322,000 square foot clinic and specialty center.
Hennepin Healthcare System CEO Dr. Jon Pryor said the proposed project expected to cost a total of $191 million would expand outpatient care on the HCMC campus.
Some specialty clinics, such as ophthalmology, are so overcrowded that there's no room for the practice to grow.
"We can't add physicians because there's no space to put them," he said. "There's no space to put the patients. In our dentistry clinic you walk over people to get to your dental chair."
Pryor said the project also will consolidate clinics that are currently scattered throughout nine different downtown buildings.
The price includes the land, new building and relocation of a nearby helipad.
The proposal still faces a few more hurdles. The Hennepin Health System Board must approve the final clinic plans, which haven't been submitted yet.
Hennepin County commissioners will have to vote on whether to issue bonds to finance the project. If the plan is approved, the new building could open by late 2016.