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Tacoma General Hospital to open new birth center, expanded NICU

Posted on Feb. 1, 2014 ( comments)

With beautiful views overlooking Wright Park, the seven-story Rainier Pavilion Expansion marks the largest piece of MultiCare Health System’s three-phase project to expand the areas that serve women, newborns and children in Tacoma.

The 115,929-square-foot building, part of MultiCare Tacoma General Hospital, will be home to 100 private rooms for patients in the Labor & Delivery Unit, the Mother & Baby Unit, the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, and two adult inpatient floors.

The departments will transition into the new areas by the end of March.

Both the NICU and the Family Birth Center are connected to MultiCare Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital, southwest Washington’s only pediatric hospital, to ensure better-connected care as your child grows.

The first phase of this project opened in May 2013 when two inpatient floors for kids, including the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, were added to serve young patients at Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital. The two floors, totaling 47,537 square feet, were added atop the Milgard Pavilion on Martin Luther King Jr. Way in Tacoma.

After the birth center and NICU move into the new building, Phase III of the project will wrap up with a refresh and remodel of the vacated spaces, to be completed by the end of 2015.

When this final phase of the project is finished, the project will have added 163,466 square feet of new space and 144,835 square feet of renovated space to MultiCare Tacoma General Hospital and MultiCare Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital.

Fact sheet for three-phase project

General Contractor: Sellen Construction Co. of Seattle.
Architect: HDR Inc., a global firm with offices in Tacoma.
Cost: $192 million
Total new space: 163,466 square feet
Total renovated space: 144,835 square feet
Construction began: June 2012
Three phases: Phase I completed in May 2013, Phase II to be completed in March 2014, Phase III to be completed in 2015. 

OPENING NOW: Phase II, Rainier Pavilion expansion at MultiCare Tacoma General Hospital

Open: March 2014
Total new private rooms: 100
Square Feet: 115,929
Floors: 7

Rainier Expansion, Floor by floor, from the top:

Sixth and fifth floors: Medical-Surgical and Telemetry Unit

Each floor has 18 large, private inpatient rooms, for a total of 36 new rooms on these floors. All rooms include a family and visitor zone with Internet access, phone charging, storage area and large sleeper sofas to accommodate overnight visitors. Each floor is 17,115 square feet.

Fourth floor: Family Birth Center Women and Newborn Unit

The 18 mother-baby rooms will be the place where mothers, newborns and families can rest and relax after their baby arrives. The large rooms are big enough to accommodate visitors, and include a designated family zone with Internet access, phone charging, storage area and large sleeper sofas to accommodate overnight visitors. Two-way cupboards enable staff to quickly and easily restock linens and supplies without disturbing you and your baby. Square feet: 17,428.

Third floor: Neonatal Intensive Care Unit

Only one Neonatal Intensive Care Unit in Tacoma is certified to provide care for premature and critically ill newborns, no matter how small their size or how complex their condition. That’s why mothers who want the highest level of NICU care for their baby in Tacoma choose the NICU at MultiCare Tacoma General Hospital, trusted since 1977.

The 30 new private rooms will comfortably accommodate families who are critical partners in caring for fragile newborns in the NICU. 

Private rooms ensure each infant will be protected from unnecessary noise, lights and exposure

Sleeper sofas allow family members to stay with their babies

For breast milk, each room will have a refrigerator and a warmer

When the final phase of the project is complete, Tacoma General Hospital will have a total of 40 Neonatal Intensive Care Unit beds and 30 Intensive Care Nursery beds. One of those NICU rooms will have two bassinets, to accommodate families with twins or multiples. Square feet: 18,023.

Only Tacoma General’s NICU is equipped to treat the smallest and the sickest babies, right here in Tacoma. In fact, other hospitals with lower-level NICU's transfer their youngest, their smallest and their most critically ill babies to Tacoma General’s NICU to receive a higher level of care.

Each year, Tacoma General’s NICU serves more than 900 premature and critically ill newborns. Babies have “graduated” to go home from Tacoma General’s NICU after weighing less than a pound at birth.

For more than 35 years, Tacoma General's NICU has developed the resources and expertise to care for the tiniest premature infants of any gestational age. Of all the hospitals in Pierce County, only Tacoma General has a neonatologist on site 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Second Floor: Family Birth Center

The 16 private labor and delivery rooms include 12 Perinatal Special Care Unit rooms to provide long-term care for high-risk moms. Four large one-stop rooms offer space for labor, delivery, recovery and postpartum care. Those rooms include a hydrotherapy tub for pain management. Square feet: 16,701.

First floor:

Shelled space for future growth. Square feet: 17,073.

Ground floor:

Lobby for patients who are discharged, with a large covered carport across the street from Wright Park. Moms who will give birth are still admitted at the front of Tacoma General Hospital on Martin Luther King Jr. Way. Square feet: 12,474.

Phase I: Milgard Pavilion Expansion at Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital

Opened: May 2013

Square feet: 47,537

7th floor: 24 private rooms, Mary Bridge Pediatric Intensive Care Unit. 23,836 square feet.

6th floor: 24 private rooms, Mary Bridge Medical-Surgical Unit. 23,701 square feet.

Phase III: Refresh and remodel of existing spaces.

Opening: 2015

Details: When this final phase of the project is finished, the project will have added 144,835 square feet of renovated space to MultiCare Tacoma General Hospital and MultiCare Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital.

Building Dreams Together

The expansion is supported by Building Dreams Together: The MultiCare Campaign for Healthy Children. This campaign will help build the facilities, buy the equipment and make the investments necessary to care for fragile babies and vulnerable children right here in our community. Learn more at

Guided by collaboration with the community

As we strive to meet our community’s health care needs, MultiCare’s development is guided by a thoughtful, long-term approach that includes careful collaboration with our communities.

The exterior design is intended to be aesthetically pleasing and to complement the character of surrounding neighborhoods. The interiors are designed to promote a healing atmosphere through the use of natural colors and materials and incorporating natural light in patient areas.

When designing new additions or facilities, MultiCare allocates a portion of project budgets to exterior and interior public art elements. For this project, MultiCare commissioned original works by local and regional Northwest artists to enhance these facilities for the enjoyment of all.

Posted in: News Release | Tacoma
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