University of Iowa Hospitals may move some programs to address shortage of space

Non-critical programs would be moved to off-site leased space

WEST DES MOINES -- A study of space needs at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics main campus reveals an expected shortage of 100,000 to 150,000 square feet in the coming years, a university official told the state Board of Regents Wednesday.

Jean Robillard, UI vice president for medical affairs, said looking three years out, the hospital has a need for about 330,000 additional square feet. Officials believe they can accommodate about 70 percent of that need, or about 225,000 square feet, inside the hospital, by assigning and filling space that was vacated at the main campus when units and services moved to the new Iowa River Landing Clinic, which opened in Coralville this fall, and by the opening of new space in the John Pappajohn Pavilion at the hospital, Robillard said.

That still leaves a shortage of about 100,000 to 150,000 square feet of needed space, he said.

Officials have explored multiple solutions and have concluded to free up that much space on the main campus, noncritical programs must be moved off site, Robillard said. Examples of such programs are IT and financial services, he said. Several years ago, the hospital did something similar, moving some patient billing services to space in the Old Capitol Mall in downtown Iowa City. The university owns that space and leases it to the hospital.

Leasing space off the hospital campus is the likely solution, he said, either leasing existing space or leasing space that has yet to be built that will meet UIHC requirements.

UI officials will issue a request for proposals to identify a developer to construct and lease the space to UIHC, Robillard said. Those RFPs will be brought back to the regents for approval.

"We wanted you to know where we are going with this," he said. "Presently in Iowa City there is not the nature of space that we can lease and that is adequate for what we want to do."

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