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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Banner-UMC breaks ground on $400 million tower

Michael Hernandez
(From left to right) Charles Cairns, Ann Weaver Hart, Akinlolu Ojo, Kathy Bollinger, Tom Dickson and Jonathan Rotschild break ground for the new Banner tower on Thursday, May 26. The nine-story tower is set to be completed in Spring 2019.

Banner – Health University Medical Center broke ground Thursday, May 26 to commemorate the start of a $400 million tower just west of the hospital, set to open in spring 2019.

“We’re building not just on ground that had a different purpose, but we’re building on the shoulders of lots of people that have come before us, that have made a difference in the healthcare of this community,” said Kathy Bollinger, executive vice president of Banner University Medicine.

RELATED: $500 million by 2019: Find out what projects are in the works at the Banner University Medical Center

Banner will equip the nine-story, 670,000 square-foot tower with new laboratories, operating rooms, diagnostic centers and more than 200 patient rooms. While the building will replace the current hospital founded in 1971, an additional 75,000 square feet of the existing hospital will be renovated.

A live stream of the construction is available to watch by clicking here.

“We’re going to have a new main entrance, we’re going to have new beds, we’re going to have new services and new locations for some of our existing facilities,” said Tom Dickson, CEO of Banner – UMC Tucson and South. “We are essentially constructing a new hospital that’s going to serve this community for decades.”

These projects are a part of a $1 billion commitment to the UA’s medical colleges in Tucson and Phoenix made by Banner, who bought the University of Arizona Medical Center in 2015.

Banner acquired the UA Health Network, which owned the hospital, in 2015 and has worked with the Arizona Board of Regents to sign a 30-year agreement with the UA College of Medicine, establishing a public-private partnership between the two.

“The opportunity to bring a world class medical school and world class clinical provider together to invent that future was very exciting to me, but a little intimidating,” said UA President Ann Weaver Hart. “With this team from Banner, we had an opportunity to really make a difference in designing that future.”

Tucson mayor Jonathan Rothschild said Banner’s cooperation with the surrounding UA neighborhoods was a testament to Banner as a community partner.

“I can tell you that the work that Banner did to work with the neighbors and to continue to partner with the neighbors to improve their neighborhood while making this investment, made it very easy for the City Council to give approval,” Rothschild said.

By Chastity Laskey / The Daily Wildcat
An interactive timeline of the Banner – University Medical Center merger in the news.

Rothschild said he hopes the tower will be the start of a renaissance in redeveloping and growing the surrounding area.

“All of that is going to be just part of, as a larger community, assuring that the world knows Tucson is a great place to get medical care, both for our residents and for people who can come from other places,” Rothschild said.

Construction is also underway on a $100 million, three-story outpatient center next to the University of Arizona Cancer Center on North Campbell Avenue and East Allen Road. The center will provide services such as radiation oncology, medical imaging, and multi-specialty clinics.

Between the two buildings, Banner will be spending over $70 million on state-of-the-art equipment and computers.

“We are very eager to bring all of the new technology and benefits for safety that will really make a difference for our patients,” Bollinger said.

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