Reprinted from Albuquerque Business First, “UNMH takes next step toward new $500 million project
by Stephanie Guzman

An Albuquerque-based architecture firm that has designed many University of New Mexico Hospital facilities was awarded the contract to create a new development plan for a replacement hospital.

FBT Architects, along with Omaha, Nebraska-based HDR, an architecture and engineering firm, will help UNMH determine the new hospital’s scope, space and staging requirements. It’s not the first time the two companies have partnered. They are both currently working on the UNMH Children’s Psychiatric Center.

UNMH has plans to replace its main facility on Lomas Boulevard north of the main campus, with a new adult acute care and behavioral health hospital. The university has said for some time that its existing adult acute care facility badly needs an upgrade. The existing 308-room hospital, built in the 1950s, can’t accommodate modern equipment, has small teaching spaces, and patients have to share bathrooms and have a lack of privacy in the hospital’s semi-private rooms.

The new hospital would have 360 beds and 48 psychiatric beds. The project will cost about $500 million, said UNM Medical Group CEO Anthony Masciotra to Business First in January. The facility will be built on land the university owns behind the UNM Cancer Center, which is located at 1201 Camino de Salud NE. The existing facility will be repurposed.

FBT Architects and HDR are expected to submit a development plan for the site within six months. UNM’s Board of Regents will then approve a second contract for design architects.

Dr. Paul Roth, UNM chancellor for health sciences and CEO of the UNM Health Sciences Center, said the hospital system is pleased to be taking this first step to bring a new hospital to New Mexico patients.

Talks about expanding the hospital have been going on for years. The university just recently updated its UNM HSC master plan, a plan that calls for the new acute care hospital and additions to the Pete and Nancy Domenici Hall for the Brain and Behavioral Health Research Institute.

FBT Architects has won other contracts that include a new 10,000-square-foot Cardiac Cath Lab in the hospital; a 16,000-square-foot health clinic in Albuquerque’s Southwest Mesa area near Unser Boulevard and Central Avenue; and another clinic in the North Valley. The company was also recently awarded the design contract for UNM’s Anderson School of Management.

FBT Architects was ranked third in Business First’s 2015 Architecture Firms list, with $9.2 million in New Mexico total gross architectural billings.

— Stephanie Guzman

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