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Design works landscape
The design for the new South Park Hospital and the new University of South Dakota School of Medicine will merge into one seamless design. At first glance, the design seems relatively conventional – large green spaces, trees and ponds, and modern buildings nestled among residential neighborhoods.
However, these components are also part of a landscape – a design element that shapes and influences the surrounding landscape. And since this new medical campus is a “public/private” partnership, the design team will need to balance the public with the private.
The design concept that we are now proposing is a campus, as a campus and not as many individual buildings. These buildings are very tall and so they will be quite visible from afar, but they are the result of a series of decisions about how to make this campus function and what it represents to the community.
A public-private partnership
A new medical campus in the South Park neighborhood in downtown Sioux Falls, South Dakota, will be the largest public-private partnership in state history. The project was recently ranked the most important health care project in the nation. Construction is now beginning on the new South Park Hospital and University of South Dakota School of Medicine – one of South Dakota’s only two public medical schools.
The new hospital and medical school will be part of a five-year project to develop a neighborhood surrounding the new South Park Hospital, which will be a public hospital for the state. A medical school will replace the existing University of South Dakota School of Medicine, also a public medical school for the state.
This is an unusually complex project.In addition to the land, buildings, and infrastructure to be built, the design team also needs to create a public/private identity that ties in the hospital’s public functions to the rest of the new neighborhood. The South Dakota Public Health Department is requiring that two-thirds of the new public hospital be open to the public. This includes a full floor of the emergency department and a walk-in clinic, the first of its kind in the state. It also must function as a teaching hospital to train health professionals.
“The public/private partnership is critical, because of the public responsibilities of the new hospital and the partnership with South Dakota State University,” says Jim D. Troup, project architect for the state health department.
The health department has been working with architects and engineers from across the country, with input from people at various community meetings. In an urban setting, such as the South Park neighborhood, the design team needed to design the project with the public in mind.
“One of the most important things is making sure that the design is consistent with the context,” says Mike Johnson, project engineer. “It’s not just a piece of architecture in an urban setting. The public will drive into the hospital from different directions, and it has to fit into a public setting.”
For example, there has to be an entry gate that is large enough for people to fit through with their wheelchair or a walker, he says. The new entrance opens onto a large plaza surrounded by buildings, and there has to be sufficient parking for visitors, says project manager Steve Smith, of the South Dakota architect and engineer firm SDA and Associates.
The new hospital will have four stories, including a new emergency department and clinics. The second and third floors will be for medical students, and the fourth floor will include a teaching hospital and outpatient clinics.Plans also include a parking garage and four buildings in addition to the hospital.
“If you put three buildings in the same footprint, you’re not going to put the garage under it,” says Dan Sayers, an architect with the South Dakota architect and engineer firm. “The garage will not have to open to a courtyard, which would be good for ventilation. The parking space doesn’t have to be as large, so it doesn’t have to be so expensive.”
The new HCA was announced in June 2016 by the state’s Department of Health, and the South Dakota Legislature appropriated $6 million to design and build the facility, which will cost $50 million, according to South Dakota’s Department of Health.
The project is a departure from the single-story structure that now serves as an emergency hospital for the 2,400-resident town.
“In general, buildings are for places to live in,” says Johnson. “Hospitals are for people to heal in.”
Construction is slated to begin next year, with an opening in 2020, according to the project website. It is expected that the facility will cost $17 million to build.
But the city needs to secure at least two more sources of funding before construction can begin, said South Dakota Mayor Bob Gockowski.
“We need at least $3 million more, so that leaves us $3 million out of the $50 million,” said Gockowski, who is the mayor of Sioux Falls and also chairs the South Dakota Housing Finance Board, which will finance the project.
The city is looking to the state’s medical, dental and mental health facilities to secure funding, Gockowski says.
South Dakota will contribute $1.5 million in state-mandated matching funds to help with the construction, while the city of Sioux Falls and the three health care facilities involved will contribute another $6.5 million, according to the state’s website.
“The city council was a strong partner with me in helping us to get the state’s matching funds,” said Sayers. “So it’s an important partnership for us.”
It may also have the capacity to house between 575 and 1,180 people, said Sayers.
“The mental health system will grow by up to 450 beds,” said Gockowski. “We anticipate that we will need additional state money for the medical building, so that is a big chunk, and also a big chunk of money is for the nursing home.”
Hospital facilities are vital for public health, said Gockowski.
“In our state, there are some areas of the state where there are not a lot of hospitals,” said Gockowski. “There’s a lot of rural communities, a lot of remote communities, that have one hospital that is very old and has very few beds.”
The cost of health care is “rising astronomically,” Gock