Office for University Relations

NEWS RELEASE, July 25, 2013

Trustees approve funding for hospital renovation

$85 million project will upgrade aging infrastructure


CHICAGO, Ill. — Funding for a major, $85 million renovation of the University of Illinois Hospital in Chicago was approved by the Board of Trustees during its meeting Thursday on the University’s Chicago campus.

Trustees authorized issuing up to $77 million in bonds to finance the project, which will provide electrical, mechanical, plumbing and other infrastructure upgrades needed to maintain the 33-year-old hospital and its existing programs.

University officials said renovations are required to sustain effective operations and will position the hospital to meet patient-care needs for the next 10 to 20 years. The hospital serves more than 400,000 patients annually, many from under-served families.

“These improvements are critical to ensure that the University of Illinois Hospital continues to serve the needs of the community and remains competitive in Chicago’s health-care system,” said Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Walter Knorr.

The project will include modernization of the hospital’s heating and cooling, electrical, plumbing and elevator systems. A two-story addition also will be built at the hospital’s main building at 1740 W. Taylor St. to create a new lobby.

Renovations are expected to be completed in 2017 and will not affect patient care or services.

Work began in 2010 after trustees approved the $40 million first phase of the project, and those improvements are 50 percent complete. The board expanded the project last November, doubling the budget.

The board originally planned to approve a bond sale to finance the project in January, but held off because of uncertainties about state bond ratings and an unexpected drop in Medicaid reimbursements from the state. Since then, the University has negotiated a new reimbursement rate that restores Medicaid revenue and bolsters the hospital’s ability to finance the debt.

The target sale date for the 30-year bonds is mid-August, with an estimated interest rate of  5.674 percent.

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The University of Illinois is a world leader in research and discovery, the largest educational institution in the state with more than 77,000 students, 24,000 faculty and staff, and campuses in Urbana-Champaign, Chicago and Springfield. The U of I awards more than 20,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees annually.