NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Leaders with Vanderbilt University Medical Center announced plans Monday for the construction of the largest expansion to date for Vanderbilt University Hospital.

A new inpatient tower, to be named the New Vanderbilt University Hospital Tower, is scheduled to be constructed atop an existing parking structure located between 21st Avenue South and Medical Center Drive. Access to the new tower’s entrance will be through Vivien Thomas Way.

The new building is expected to provide additional adult inpatient beds, operating rooms, clinics and office space.

The project is scheduled to begin this summer and will take approximately four and a half years to complete.

  • Vanderbilt expansion
  • Vanderbilt expansion

Leaders at VUMC said the additional space is needed to accommodate Middle Tennessee’s booming population and because the hospital, “already operates at more than 90% capacity most of the year.”

“Prior to 2020, our health system was already experiencing the need for additional capacity to care for critically ill adult patients, said Dr. Jeff Balser, President and Chief Executive Officer for VUMC and Dean of Vanderbilt University School of Medicine said in a release.

“The unprecedented demand placed on our people and facilities during the pandemic underscored the strategic importance for this new facility,” Balser said. “This investment will position the Medical Center to better meet the needs of the increasingly diverse population we serve and strengthen our mission to improve the health of people throughout the region.”

Leaders said depending on the final floor configuration, the New Vanderbilt University Hospital Tower will add approximately 180 inpatient beds along with 10 operating rooms, radiology services, multiple specialty clinics, a spacious lobby and new administrative office space.

“Many of the specialty services we offer, such as trauma, burn and solid organ transplantation, are only available through Vanderbilt University Hospital. This expansion will create sufficient capacity for us to meet the needs of these patients and many others in the most effective and efficient manner,” said Dr. C. Wright Pinson, Deputy Chief Executive Officer and Chief Health System Officer for VUMC in a release.

The two-phase project includes demolishing the Oxford House, an administrative office building originally constructed in 1961 that is located on the same garage deck where the new tower will be constructed, according to a news release.

Leaders said demolition of the Oxford House will occur during the project’s second phase. Parking expansion is all expected as part of the project.

The last major addition to Vanderbilt University Hospital was completed in November 2009 with the opening of the Critical Care Tower, an 11-level expansion that added 102 patient beds and 12 operating rooms.