SSM Health will spend $550 million to build a new academic medical center to replace Saint Louis University Hospital in south St. Louis.
When SSM Health took over the hospital last year, plans to build a replacement were announced immediately by the network’s president and CEO, Bill Thompson. Thompson has since announced plans to retire next year.
Now, the Creve-Coeur based Catholic health system has finalized a few more details. The project will include a 316-bed hospital — down from 344 in the current hospital — and an outpatient center just to the north of its current facility on Grand Boulevard. The emergency department and intensive care units will be larger than in the existing hospital, and all patient rooms will be private, according to a statement from SSM on Monday.
SLU expects to complete construction in September of 2020.
Officials say they haven’t yet decided what they’ll do with the existing hospital structure, and particularly the Desloge Tower, a tall, Gothic-inspired building with a copper roof that was built in the 1930s. This past spring, historical preservationists and city officials wrote to SSM with the plea that the 10-story tower be renovated and re-purposed, instead of destroyed.
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