Barnes-Jewish Gets Initial Approval For Major Expansion | St. Louis Public Radio

Barnes-Jewish Gets Initial Approval For Major Expansion

Mar 26, 2013

Updated 10:15 a.m. March 27 to note that one building of the old Jewish Hospital complex will remain.

A planned expansion of the Barnes-Jewish medical complex could be underway later this year, now that the city has given its initial approval.

The Preservation Board last night gave BJC HealthCare the go-ahead to demolish four buildings at the corner of Kingshighway and Forest Park. They'll be replaced by nearly one million new square feet of medical space, including an addition to Children's Hospital.

"We will increase the percentage of private rooms for both adults and for children, we will improve way-finding on the campus, and incorporate more green space," said June Fowler, the vice president of corporate communications for BJC HealthCare.

Fowler says demolition should start in the third quarter of this year, and will take about 6 to 9 months.  The buildings will open in 2017.

The four buildings slated to be demolished make up most of the remaining structures of the old Jewish Hospital, which merged with Barnes in 1996. (The Schoenberg Pavilion will remain.) Fowler says the company is working to preserve cornices, cornerstones, and Jewish symbols from the buildings.

"We have had a number of meetings with leadership and members kind of convened with the Jewish Federation to make sure that what we’re doing is sensitive and takes into account the foundation upon which Jewish Hospital was established," she said, adding that discussions include a display about the history of Jewish Hospital.

Follow Rachel Lippmann on Twitter: @rlippmann