`Big yellow building' rises on the hill

Community's first hospital changes scenery

Posted 8/1/18

Visible from miles away, the community's first hospital is 75 percent completed. If you're heading west on Highlands Ranch Parkway, toward Lucent Boulevard or Town Center, it's likely you've seen the …

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`Big yellow building' rises on the hill

Community's first hospital changes scenery

Posted

Visible from miles away, the community's first hospital is 75 percent completed.

If you're heading west on Highlands Ranch Parkway, toward Lucent Boulevard or Town Center, it's likely you've seen the expansive campus that will be UCHealth Highlands Ranch Hospital rising above the community's low-profile suburban skyline.

The $310 million, six-story building sits south of Central Park's communications tower — which county officials refer to as a set of chopsticks painted bright orange — with a picturesque backdrop of the Front Range.

“… What was known as the `big yellow building on the hill' is now taking shape with brick, stone and glass,” Trent Walker, UCHealth senior project manager of facilities, said in a news release. “Interior painting and flooring is well underway on the first two levels, and later this summer, testing of the mechanical systems will take place.”

Slated to open in early 2019, the hospital will cover 33 acres of Central Park, a multi-use development owned by Shea Properties. Plans call for retail space, single-family homes and townhomes and a regional park. Several sought-after restaurants, including Shake Shack and Torchy's Tacos, and boutique fitness studios are open for business.

Stacy Ingram is owner of Mainstream Boutique, the first retail store in Central Park, which backs up to the hospital. Noise from surrounding construction hasn't been bad, she said. And she's hopeful the hospital will bring more business to Central Park.

"We expect that it will be good for our business because sometimes you have some time in between appointments or want to walk around the area," she said of future hospital visitors. "We are hoping it’s beneficial for us, but we won’t know that until it’s open."

The 340,000-square-foot hospital and adjacent 85,000-square-foot medical office building will have approximately 87 inpatient beds with room to expand, according to the release.

There will be a two-story cancer center, birth center, intensive care unit, operating rooms, Level III trauma center and emergency department, advanced cardiac services and a 24-hour pharmacy, according to UCHealth.

The hospital recently decided to expand the size of and services offered in its birth center, allowing for more deliveries, the news release says.

“We're creating a hospital and outpatient medical center that will allow residents to receive all the care they need right here, close to home,” said Diane Cookson, president and CEO of UCHealth Highlands Ranch Hospital.

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