Cancer Center remodel expands clinical space

Employees on the research team will move to modular housing to accommodate the work
September 27, 2016

The rectangular structure in the dusty lot on the north side of University of Colorado Hospital’s Anschutz Outpatient Pavilion recalls modular classrooms long used by school districts to handle burgeoning student enrollment. In this case, the occupants will be moving in to accommodate patient care.

The structure will soon be home for University of Colorado researchers who currently work in offices on the third floor of the Anschutz Cancer Pavilion. That space will be remodeled to create a 9,000-square-foot clinic that includes 24 exam rooms and another two set up for minor procedures, said Ryan Roberts, RT, clinical operations manager for the hospital’s GI, Phase One and Surgical Oncology programs. He added that it will have room for many other purposes and will allow providers to examine and treat patients with a wide variety of conditions (see end of this story).

To accommodate the redesign work, staff will start moving into the modular facility in mid-October, said John White, manager of Design and Construction for UCH. The remodeling work is slated to finish in mid-April next year, he added.

A growing effort

Research Sign
Sign shows the names of a few of the groups that will be moving from the third floor of the Anschutz Cancer Pavilion to the modular facility in the Gold Lot.

The remodeling is the latest chapter in a long-running project, launched early in 2015, to add more than 100 new exam rooms in the Anschutz Outpatient and Cancer pavilions. The $15 million-plus initiative is currently scheduled to wrap up early next year, White said. Completed work includes a remodeling of the space formerly occupied by the Emergency Department to accommodate expansions of the Spine/Rehabilitation Medicine Clinic and the Interventional Pain Management Practice and an overhaul of space in the Critical Care Wing to create a Burn Center that integrates inpatient and outpatient care.

Roberts said the third-floor Cancer Pavilion remodeling will help University of Colorado Cancer Center meet already heavy patient volume that is expected to grow. The Cancer Clinic has logged some 3,000 patient visits thus far in fiscal year 2017, which began July 1 – that’s 5 percent above projections, Roberts said. On busy clinic days, as many as 120 patients come through the doors in an eight-hour period.

“As UCH’s footprint throughout the state grows, we expect that to increase our referral base, which is already very strong,” Roberts said.

The new space should also improve efficiency and “patient care continuity” by bringing together in one space clinicians from medical and surgical oncology who currently see patients on different floors of the ACP, he added.

On to the lot

Before remodeling crews can move in, however, the research team will have to move out of its current third-floor digs. White said his team and Cancer Center leaders “studied options” before deciding on how best to relocate them. They considered shelled space in Anschutz Inpatient Pavilion 2 and spaces on campus belonging to CU before looking at the hospital’s own backyard, dusty though it is.

Modular Facility Cancer Center
The Cancer Center looms in the background over the modular facility, which was transported to UCH from Buckley Air Force Base this month.

That would be the “Gold Lot,” where the modular structure now sits. It housed trailers for training classrooms during the Epic implementation and has more recently served as a combination storage yard and parking lot for construction crews, with chain-link fence a defining feature. Its lack of style aside, the lot seemed the best and least intrusive choice for the move, White said.

“It met our requirement for keeping the employees together and near the ACP,” he said.

Getting the modular structure on campus required more than hefting it onto a trailer and slapping an “oversized load” sign on the back, however. The building had been at Buckley Air Force Base in Aurora. It was taken apart and trucked north and west to the Anschutz Medical Campus in 22 shrink-wrapped, 14-by-60-foot pieces that crews from Modular Space Corporation then reassembled in the Gold Lot, a task they completed in mid-September. The Facilities, Design and Construction team then began work on preparing the interior and furnishings for move-in, which should start at the beginning of October, White said.

Clinic Sign
The Surgical Oncology/GI/Phase 1 Clinic will get additional space from the remodeling.

New space vital stats

The remodeled space on the third floor of the Anschutz Cancer Pavilion will house exam rooms for GI Oncology, Phase One Clinical Trials, Surgical Oncology, Head and Neck Oncology, Liver Multidisciplinary Clinic, Esophageal Multidisciplinary Clinic, Pancreas Multidisciplinary Clinic, Colorectal Multidisciplinary Clinic and the Sarcoma Multidisciplinary Clinic.



The layout includes:

  • 24 Exam Rooms
  • Two minor procedure rooms with special accommodations for bariatric patients
  • Four consult rooms for further integration of Support and Pharmacy services
  • 40+ person team room
  • Conference Room
  • Phlebotomy Services


About the author

Tyler Smith has been a health care writer, with a focus on hospitals, since 1996. He served as a writer and editor for the Marketing and Communications team at University of Colorado Hospital and UCHealth from 2007 to 2017. More recently, he has reported for and contributed stories to the University of Colorado School of Medicine, the Colorado School of Public Health and the Colorado Bioscience Association.