The University Board of Regents approved the design for the much-anticipated new C.S. Mott Children’s and Women’s Hospital at its meeting Friday.

Jessica Boullion

When it opens its doors in spring 2011, the state-of-the-art facility will replace the existing Mott children’s hospital and the women’s hospitals.

The most notable features of the hospital will be its environmental friendliness and its comforting interior.

Most patients will be able to see the Nichols Arboretum and the Huron River from their rooms. Suggestions from patients and their families guided the design, which will include an outdoor courtyard and abundant natural light. It will be the length of two football fields and is expected to accommodate 4,500 births per year.

The facility will house both inpatient and outpatient programs and is slated to cost $523 million.

In addition to approving the design, the regents approved a $25-million increase to the project’s budget. The money will primarily go toward Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification. LEED certification indicates that a building is enivornmental sustainable.

The change of the hospital’s plans to include LEED certification was spurred, in part, by student input at previous regents meetings.

“We absolutely value input from students, but it had been in our minds already,” said Krista Hopson, spokeswoman for the University of Michigan Health System. “We have a longstanding commitment to environmental stewardship, and this is part of that commitment.”

Robert Kelch, the University’s executive vice president for medical affairs, said the extra money is worth it.

“We researched the process extensively and concluded that the cost associated with this will be warranted over the long term,” Kelch told the regents.

The cost of the hospital will be covered by UMHS funds and donations.

University Regent David Brandon and his wife Jan, along with head football coach Lloyd Carr and his wife Laurie, are leading a fundraising drive to benefit the hospital. Their project has already raised $46 million toward the new hospital.

In approving the design, the regents approved an increase in the hospital’s size. The hospital will occupy 1.1 million square feet, an increase from the 1 million originally planned. Included in that 1.1 million square feet are 180,000 square feet of shell space for programs for future expansion.

The current children’s hospital is about 272,000 square feet.

“We’re trying to think about what may be coming down the road in terms of medical advancements,” Hopson said.

The hospital will be L-shaped, with one nine-floor wing mainly dedicated to clinics and offices and a 12-floor wing mainly to inpatient and emergency care. The inpatient care wing will make up about 75 percent of the total space, and clinics and offices will make up the remaining 25 percent.

Located on the intersection of East Medical Center Drive and East Hospital Drive across the street from Mary Markley Residence Hall, the Mott hospital will replace a parking lot.

Last year, 11,955 children were admitted or born at Mott.

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