A design rendering depicts the 10-story patient tower planned for Mount Nittany Medical Center. Picture provided
The Mount Nittany Health Board of Directors has approved plans for a 10-story, 300,000-square-foot addition to the College Township Medical Center, Center County Health System announced Thursday.
The $350 million “state-of-the-art” tower will include 168 private patient rooms, outpatient services, facilities for hospital staff and patients and new parking, according to a press release.
Construction is expected to begin next summer, with an expected occupancy date of December 2026. It will be completed in phases to mitigate disruption.
Mount Nittany Health first revealed plans for the addition in September 2021 and design development began in August.
The new facility will provide “an advanced patient-centric experience and serve a growing number of Mount Nittany healthcare providers,” according to the health system.
In combination with the existing private rooms in the hospital, the new rooms will allow all patients to have a private room in the hospital, which is licensed for 260 beds. The tower is designed to bring natural light into the rooms and provide panoramic views.
The addition will also include “telemetry capabilities, outpatient clinics, point-of-care check-in, enhanced meal preparation and food service, outdoor space for patients, visitors and staff, modernized data center , a central utility plant, a 171-space parking deck and walkway and improved storage,” according to the release.
“The new tower is an important, game-changing step to improve the environment for patients and staff,” Kathleen Rhine, president and CEO of Mount Nittany Health, said in a statement. “By investing in the new tower, we are creating a better environment for medical staff and nursing professionals who care for members of our community, and improving the hospital patient experience with spacious private rooms, a therapeutic environment, a convenient access to hospital care services and state-of-the-art technology.”
About 40 Mount Nittany Health physicians and staff participated in the initial planning team, which assessed patient rooms, staff amenities, kitchen and dining areas, several clinics and therapy units, the telemetry monitoring and storage. They said they look forward to the benefits the floor design and technological capabilities will bring to patients and staff.
“The indoor/outdoor spaces will give our teams a place to get the well-deserved downtime needed to recharge,” RN/ICU/PCU manager Amber Shaw said in a statement.
Mount Nittany Health officials anticipate the new tower will also help with employee recruitment and retention and increase pandemic flexibility and capacity.
Design firm Stantec is the architect for the tower project and Whiting Turner will be the construction manager.
The Patient Tower addition is Mount Nittany Health’s second recent major construction project under an ongoing program expansion and renovation projects in medical centers and outpatients.
In March, the Patton Township Board of Supervisors approved land use plans for the construction of Mount Nittany’s new four-storey outpatient medical center, which will be the first building in the long-planned development of Toftrees West. This building should open at the end of 2023.
Other initiatives in Mount Nittany Health’s facility investment include renovating the medical center’s imaging department to create a newly designed diagnostic pavilion on the ground floor of the hospital and adding a new inpatient dialysis unit.
The Joseph V. and Suzanne P. Paterno Women’s and Children’s Services Unit women and children unit and the clinical laboratory also underwent major expansions.