The WellSpan Spotlight

WellSpan York Hospital expansion project keeping it local with 80% regional contractors

Sustainable transformation of the expansive campus includes green roof and high-performance design

2024_INET_York Hospital construction project 2

WellSpan York Hospital construction site

As part of WellSpan's focus on sustainability, health system officials have underscored their commitment to keeping the vast majority of the WellSpan York Hospital expansion project local, finalizing a list of contractors in which more than 80% are from the immediate area. Work demolition and excavation is ongoing at the campus in advance of an expansion that will significantly enhance the hospital as a center of excellence for advanced care. The centerpiece of the expansion will be a new eight-story surgical and critical care tower that will make WellSpan York Hospital one of the largest hospitals in Pennsylvania.

"For more than 140 years, WellSpan York Hospital has been a leader in advanced specialty care for complex conditions and this addition will make it a destination for care for decades to come," said Victoria Diamond, senior vice president of WellSpan Health's Central Region. "Knowing that this facility will serve patients for years to come, it's our responsibility to make this project as green as possible, while also reducing our carbon footprint by keeping the project teams as local as possible."

Facility engineering, design and consulting partners include Warehaus, St. Onge, WSP, and LF Driscoll/Benchmark, among others while demolition, excavation and construction companies include The Berg Corporation, Stewart & Tate, Wagman, and IB Abel and McClure. Numerous others are involved in the expansive campus project.

"We're lucky to have very talented construction and design partners in our backyard and keeping so many of our contracts local means we can reinvest those costs back into our community, infusing the local economy," said Keith Noll, senior vice president and chief administrative officer, WellSpan Health.

Another sustainability goal for the tower project is to achieve LEED certification as a green building by U.S. Green Building Council. The new tower will employ high-performance sustainability design that is good for the environment and will enhance the comfort and well-being of patients, families, visitors and team members. More than 12,000 square feet of green roof will be accessible in a garden setting, offering the healing power of nature. The green roof also will absorb rainwater, reducing the environmental impact of stormwater runoff, and act as a natural insulator that reduces energy consumption for cooling and heating.

Additionally, the tower will feature enhanced ventilation systems that promote the best possible air quality and healthier patient outcomes, and the building will not use any environmentally harmful chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) refrigerants.

In terms of clinical care, the new tower at WellSpan York Hospital will feature larger, state-of-the-art surgical suites; the newest robotic surgical and advanced medical technology; expanded pre- and post-operative care areas; and dedicated spaces that support cardiovascular, neurology and trauma care and services. Additional intensive care unit rooms will include space for families to stay with their loved ones and offer improved privacy and comfort for family and visitors."

Overall, the expansion consists of over 248,000 square feet of new space and 32,000 square feet of renovated space. When completed, the hospital will top 600 beds, making it one of the largest hospitals in Pennsylvania.

WellSpan York Hospital is a high performer in several advanced care categories, according to U.S. News & World Report, including colon cancer surgery, lung cancer surgery, heart attack and heart failure, colon cancer surgery, stroke and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The hospital features the most advanced interventional suites for cardiovascular care in the central Pennsylvania region. The hospital also is a Comprehensive Stroke Center (one of only two facilities with the designation in the region), a Level 1 Regional Resource Trauma Center (one of only two in the region) and is home to the region's largest Level 3 neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).

First announced just weeks before the COVID-19 pandemic was declared in March 2020, the campus expansion was postponed while the hospital focused attention on its response to the public health crisis. With demolition and excavation now wrapping up, foundations and steel will soon rise from the construction site with the addition expected to be ready for use by early 2027. Total investment in the project is estimated at $427 million and will ultimately support the creation of approximately 500 jobs in the region's healthcare sector.

WellSpan York Hospital was founded in 1880 in downtown York and relocated its current location in 1929. Nearly 5,000 people work on the almost 28-acre campus, making WellSpan Health the largest employer in York County and a major economic engine contributing over $1.8 billion annually to the area’s economy.