PHCS News

Groundbreaking Takes Place For A New University Medical Center of Princeton at Plainsboro

Oct 7, 2008
UMCP ExteriorWeb

A New Hospital for New Jersey: Medically and Environmentally State-of-the Art

Groundbreaking ceremonies took place today for University Medical Center of Princeton at Plainsboro (UMCPP), a new, state-of-the-art hospital to replace the downtown Princeton facility that has been home to University Medical Center at Princeton (UMCP) since 1919.

"Today we begin construction of what will be one of the finest regional medical centers in the United States, a state-of-the-art facility that will take excellent care of this community for generations to come,"said Barry S. Rabner, President and CEO of Princeton HealthCare System.

The new hospital is located on Route One in Plainsboro between Scudders Mill Road and Plainsboro Road, about three miles from UMCP's current Princeton location on Witherspoon Street. In contrast to the nine-acre Witherspoon Street site, the new medical center will occupy 50 acres of land and serve as the hub of a 160-acre health campus that will also include a medical office building, a fitness and wellness center, a health education center, a senior residential community, a skilled nursing facility, pediatric services and a 32-acre public park along the Millstone River.

When it opens its doors in 2011 the hospital will consist of approximately 636,000 square feet of interior space, with 238 private patient rooms, state-of-the-art emergency services, operating suites and a comprehensive array of ambulatory services and laboratories. Subsequent development would provide an additional 324,000 square feet to be used for up to 160 additional private patient rooms, expanded hospital services and physician offices.

Healthcare experts agree that the way a hospital is designed directly impacts patient care. As such, the new hospital by architects Hellmuth, Obata & Kassabaum (HOK) and RMJM Hillier incorporates the most current thinking and best practices in healthcare design. Features of the new facility include an abundance of natural light; spacious and flexible operating rooms to accommodate robotics and other emerging technologies; advanced imaging and treatment areas; and all-private, patient rooms designed to reduce falls, minimize risk of infection and enhance privacy, with room amenities such as wireless Internet access, dedicated ventilation and temperature control systems and room service dining.

The new hospital will also incorporate the latest in "green" design, featuring a broad spectrum of energy and resource-conservation innovations to make it one of the most environmentally-advanced hospitals in the nation. Such features include a sunlight-regulating exterior "veil" that will significantly reduce the amount of energy required for heating and cooling; an on-site, co-generation plant; a ventilation system that delivers 100 percent fresh air in critical patient care areas, rather than recirculate indoor air; indigenous landscape materials; and a rainwater collection system.

"The new facility is designed for healing in every way," said Edward E. Matthews, chairman of the Princeton Healthcare System Board of Trustees. "In every detail, this building will feature the latest innovations in healthcare and medical technology, making UMCPP one of the nation's top hospitals for clinical outcomes, patient safety, patient satisfaction, operational efficiency and environmental sustainability."

The new hospital, estimated to cost $441 million, is being financed through a combination of savings, earnings, loans and donations. UMCP now has gifts and pledges totaling $76 million, with a fund raising goal of $115 million.

The decision to relocate UMCP emerged after the hospital conducted extensive analysis of the feasibility of renovating and expanding the current downtown Princeton facility. Members of the community and local government officials were involved in dozens of public meetings devoted to determining a course of action that would allow the hospital to fulfill its mission and meet the changing healthcare needs of the Central New Jersey region.

Plans for the Witherspoon Street site by a private developer call for a multi-unit residential and retail complex with open space.

Click here for a fact sheet about University Medical Center of Princeton at Plainsboro.