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Campus Construction & Growth

Developments on the Washington University Medical Campus and the neighboring Cortex Innovation Community are positioning St. Louis as a national hub of technology and biomedical research.


Building connections

A new campus plan brings communities together and improves the experience for employees, patients, students and visitors.

Read the feature »

Ongoing campus development projects are designed to facilitate the best outcomes for patients, learners and scientists. The school’s vision for growth is also guided by Washington University’s sustainability goals.

Learn about some of the large-scale construction projects involving the School of Medicine below.

Current and planned projects

Campus Renewal Project

The 10-year Campus Renewal Project at Washington University Medical Campus is transforming the campus experience, with improvements ranging from the consolidation and expansion of clinical care services to more parking and better traffic flow.

Already complete is phase one, which included new inpatient towers with additional clinical services for women and infants, as well as expansion of clinical care at Siteman Cancer Center and other surgical programs. More details about completed construction are listed below.

Video: See how clinicians, staff, patients and families have aided the Campus Renewal design team.

New and updated clinical spaces will integrate care, research and education while providing an efficient and supportive environment for physicians, nurses and staff. In addition to expanding clinical services, the project will sculpt a campus environment that amply supports the level of care provided. The entire patient experience, from arrival to departure, will see improvements in comfort and convenience. Aesthetic updates will not only enhance the visitor experience, but also promote healing and reduce stress.

Building a long-term vision

The Campus Renewal Project first focused on the north end of campus, with phase two slated for south campus. Major improvements to public spaces, campus navigation and transportation will be incorporated throughout the project, as will increasing the number of private patient rooms.

Phase two: Focusing on the south end of campus, the second phase of construction includes:

  • Improved space for programs including heart and vascular, neurology, critical care, transplants and general medicine
  • Increased critical care capabilities
  • Development of programs in medical and surgical services
Rendering of a south campus concept, part of Phase 2 of the Campus Renewal Project.
Rendering of a south campus concept, part of phase two of the Campus Renewal Project.

More information:

Crescent building rehab / BioGenerator Labs

Addressing the need for more affordable laboratory space in the Cortex district, a Washington University real-estate arm and Cortex are redeveloping the 96,000-square-foot Crescent building at 4340-50 Duncan Avenue. The building will serve the region’s urgent demand for lab space, which has been driven in large part by local biotech startups. It is expected to open in summer 2019.

Renovation of the historic Crescent building is underway.

Tenants are expected to include BioSTL, which operates BioGenerator Labs, and Aclaris Therapeutics, the Pennsylvania biopharmaceutical company that acquired St. Louis startup Confluence Life Sciences in 2017.

The Crescent building’s history, as well as its future, is rooted in experimentation and innovation.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch built the facility in 1930 to accommodate a printing technique called rotogravure. The technique, which allowed papers to mass-print quality photographs, equipped the Post-Dispatch to become one of the nation’s leading papers. The printing plant’s Central West End location was near the city’s geographic and population centers, and the railroad lines running adjacent to the site made it ideal for the distribution of newspapers and delivery of printing supplies.

Between 1973 and 2006, the building housed several other occupants, including Crescent Parts and Equipment Company. In 2016 it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places for its significance to the development of rotogravure printing and its impact on journalism. According to the National Register’s file, the power of rotogravure photo journalism occasionally made an impact on social change and civic progress.

More information:

Recently completed projects

Central West End MetroLink station platform extension

The platform of the Central West End MetroLink station — the system’s busiest and highest passenger volume station — was extended by 60 feet to better accommodate passenger traffic and pedestrian circulation routes. A future redesign of the Central West End Station, still in its planning stages, will include more amenities for Metro customers.

More information

Student housing: Core Apartment Residences

To enhance the student experience and revitalize historic sites, the original buildings for the Central Institute for the Deaf and Shriners Hospital — St. Louis were renovated into apartment-style housing. Both buildings are on the National Register of Historic Places.

Located at Euclid and Clayton avenues, The Core Apartment Residences houses nearly 200 apartments, additional common space for expanded fitness and recreation opportunities, a music room and community center.

The apartments opened in August 2018.

More information

New Cortex MetroLink station and section of Chouteau Greenway

In July 2018, a new MetroLink station opened in the Cortex District adjacent to the @4240 building. The station’s grand opening also celebrated completion of the first quarter-mile segment of the new Chouteau Greenway. When complete, the greenway will connect Forest Park to the Gateway Arch.

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Barnes-Jewish Parkview Tower and St. Louis Children’s tower

Completed as part of phase one of the Campus Renewal Project, two new inpatient towers opened on the north end of the medical campus early in 2018.

Built by BJC HealthCare, the towers literally bridge maternity and neonatal care. Barnes-Jewish Parkview Tower offers roomy and modernized facilities for patients of Siteman Cancer Center and the Women & Infants Center. The Children’s tower adds 96 private patient rooms on six floors, addressing the need for more beds for pediatric patients.

Demolition for phase one included the Jewish Hospital School of Nursing and the Kingshighway, Steinberg and Yalem buildings.

More information

Mid Campus Center (MCC)

Business units begin moving into the Mid Campus Center in December 2016, though some floors remain under construction. The 12-story office building, located on the site of the former Storz building on the Medical Campus, serves as an administrative building for the medical school and Barnes-Jewish and St. Louis Children’s hospitals.

The 12-story office building, at 4570 Children’s Place, will provide about 40,000 square feet of space per floor.

The Mid Campus Center is located at 4590 Children’s Place, just north of the Central West End MetroLink Station. The location provides about 40,000 square feet of space per floor and houses offices for the dean and administrative staff and corporate offices for BJC HealthCare. It also includes a WUSM/BJH joint security center, conference rooms, Follett Bookstore, a FedEx store and a Kaldi’s Café. The building has been submitted for LEED certification.

Demolition of the site’s existing structure began in the summer of 2015. Groups began moving into the Mid Campus Center in December 2016, with relocation continuing through spring 2017 as space is completed.

Christner Inc. designed the building; Clayco Corp. is the construction management firm.

More information

Couch Biomedical Research Building (4515 McKinley)

A new state-of-the-art research building opened on McKinley Avenue in 2015. In October 2017, the building was dedicated as the Debra and George W. Couch III Biomedical Research Building. Through their philanthropy and leadership, Debra and George Couch are longtime champions of Washington University and the research at the School of Medicine. Their endowed fund will support interdisciplinary research within the building and across the university.

The state-of-the-art research facility features highly flexible open laboratories to facilitate collaboration and accommodate new research teams. With six stories and 138,000 square feet of lab space, it will house researchers involved in genetics, genomics and regenerative biology, consolidating most Department of Genetics faculty into a single location closer to important collaborators from other departments.

Located southeast of the East McDonnell Building, the Couch Biomedical Research Building’s green space faces Scott Avenue. Dedicated food truck parking and outdoor seating have made the lawn a popular place for people across the campus to gather.

The energy-efficient research facility is dedicated to interdisciplinary research on some of the most complex problems in human biology.

Boston-based architectural firm Goody Clancy, in association with St. Louis-based Christner Inc., designed the building for LEED Silver certification, which is awarded to structures that reduce waste, conserve energy and water, are healthier and safer for occupants and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The general contractor is Clayco.

More information

Duncan Avenue parking garage

A 3,000-car employee parking garage is under construction on Duncan Avenue between Newstead and Taylor avenues. The garage is being built on the site of an existing surface garage, significantly increasing the site’s parking capacity and improving parking options for many School of Medicine employees.

Construction of the garage will also include a skywalk, which will provide sheltered pedestrian access across Taylor Avenue from the new garage, as well as existing parking structures, to Medical Campus buildings and the Metro Transit station to the west. The skywalk will connect to the medical center’s existing network of “links.”

The new parking garage is slated to open in August 2015. During garage construction, some employee parking assignments and shuttle route will be shifted.

The new garage, which is part of the Campus Renewal Project (see above), may enable some medical school faculty and staff to park closer to where they work, said John Ursch, director of protective services at the medical school. “This new garage is going to be large enough that it will allow us to rethink parking and how we can best serve our employees.”

More information

TAB Extension

Construction of the Taylor Avenue Building (TAB) Extension wrapped up in June of 2015. The building’s street-facing exterior mirrors that of the TAB building, directly to its north, which is home to the Washington University Institute for Public Health and the BJC WellAware Center.

Offices located in the new TAB Extension include the Infectious Diseases clinic, which was previously located in the Storz building at 4570 Children’s Place. The Storz building was demolished in August 2015 to make way for construction of a new office building on its site (more information below).

4522 McKinley (EHS facility)

Construction of a new facility for Environmental Health and Safety was completed in summer 2015. The facility is on the south side of McKinley Avenue at the intersection of Taylor Avenue.

Environmental Health & Safety building
The new Environmental Management Facility for Environmental Health and Safety on McKinley Avenue.

Designed by HKW Architects, this one-story building will be used for accumulating, packaging and preparing shipment of chemical, medical and low level radioactive waste. It will also include offices of some Environmental Health and Safety staff.

Interstate-64 reconstruction

Visitors to Washington University Medical Center will benefit from improved traffic conditions thanks to construction of a new interchange on Interstate-64/Highway 40 completed in August 2014.

In partnership with Washington University Medical Center, the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) built a new I-64 interchange at Tower Grove Avenue. The project replaced bridges across I-64 on Taylor, Newstead, Tower Grove and Boyle Avenues, and improved the I-64 surface between Kingshighway and Sarah Street.

Construction on I-64 near Washington University Medical School and Barnes-Jewish Hospital will improve traffic to the Central West End once work is complete.
Updates to I-64 and a new interchange south of Washington University Medical Center increased access to the medical campus. This image from MoDOT shows areas that were targeted for improvements.

The project aims to alleviate congested traffic on Kingshighway and, with the addition of bike routes on the new bridges across I-64, improve routes for all travelers crossing the interstate between the Central West End and The Grove and Forest Park Southeast neighborhoods.

More information

Project completion announcement (8/28/14)

Other construction projects

Learn more about additional construction projects near the Medical Campus and at Washington University in St. Louis: