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Froedtert has received a green light to proceed with a four-floor, $43 million expansion to the Center for Advanced Care.

The hospital, which is on the grounds of the Milwaukee Regional Medical Center, was granted approval by the Wauwatosa Design Review Board Feb. 2 by a vote of 4-0. Due to the current zoning in the location of the hospital, the expansion plans do not require common council approval.

"What brought us back here is our occupancy rates," John A. Balzer, vice president of planning and development for Froedtert Health said to the board. "We challenged the design team because we did not want this building to look like a big box."

The hospital has been operating near capacity and demand for hospital rooms is expected to exceed supply, prompting the decision to expand.

"Froedtert Hospital’s occupancy rate is among the highest in the state, averaging over 85 percent annually," Nalissa Wienke, Froedtert media relations associate said in a statement. "To address the ongoing need for increased inpatient capacity, plans are underway to add four floors to the (hospital)."

Wienke said the two-year construction project would begin this spring. The approximately $43 million cost would be financed through a bond issue.

The center opened in October 2015 on the academic medical center campus and primarily houses outpatient services, including the Transplant Center, Heart and Vascular Center and Surgical Specialties Clinic, although two floors are used for inpatient cancer care.

"The Center for Advanced Care was designed to accommodate vertical expansion of four additional floors," Wienke said. "Providing for additional floors while construction of the new building was underway was a cost-effective way to allow for future growth and avoid the much higher cost of separate construction. Four floors would add approximately 165,000 square feet to the building."

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