Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago

Campus Expansion Program
Chicago, IL
Project Facts

Mortenson Construction
Northwestern University

Full Case Study:

Lurie Children’s Hospital’s Expansion Program is a series of system-wide capital projects supporting the hospital’s mission to care for more children. As strategic advisor, Ascent provides guidance in planning, decision-making and implementation to support growth of the campus, and ultimately the number of children cared for.

Client Background

Lurie Children’s Hospital, formerly Children’s Memorial Hospital, is ranked by US News and World Report as one of the nation’s top 10 children’s hospitals. It provides highly-specialized care for children with the most serious and complicated medical conditions in a 1.25M SF hospital in downtown Chicago. It also supports a network of outpatient clinics and leads pediatric research as a teaching facility of Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine. Lurie’s mission is to be the national leader in achieving a healthier future for every child.

About the Program

Lurie Children’s Hospital relocated from Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood into a new, state-of-the-art facility downtown in 2012. The 26-story tower, the tallest children’s hospital in the world, nearly doubled the hospital’s size and expanded their capacity. However, changes in healthcare delivery for specialized pediatric care sharply increased the number of patients referred to Lurie by local hospitals. Within five years of opening the new hospital, Lurie Children’s was caring for 40% more children. Lurie Children’s quickly surpassed its original growth projections and struggled to serve the growing volume of critically ill patients needing its services. It identified the need for a series of immediate expansion projects paired with long-term facilities planning for efficient and financially-stable growth.

Lurie’s Expansion Program affects nearly 500,000 SF of space across nearly every one of its facilities. The projects prioritize caring for more children, raising its quality of care, expanding research, and improving the workplace. Its investment in more than 13 separate projects expands inpatient care, research, workplace and outpatient services.


The speed of growth Lurie experienced presented urgent and complex demands on its facilities. Recognizing the need to expand quickly yet strategically, Lurie brought Ascent onto its facilities team for guidance and management expertise.

How Does Ascent Help?

Ascent team members have worked with Lurie Children’s Hospital continuously for the past 10 years. In 2006, we organized an integrated project delivery team to deliver the new Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago – a transformational, $1B, 1.25M SF hospital in Chicago’s Streeterville neighborhood.
As a partner for strategic growth, Ascent continues to advise Lurie on all aspects of facilities planning and expansion, from big-picture planning to hands-on management of simultaneous, highly-technical projects. Ascent also has on-the-ground project managers supporting project delivery to ensure success for Lurie.


Together, these outcomes position Lurie Children’s for healthy future growth while improving the nationally-recognized care it gives to children today.
– The rapid expansion of Lurie Childrens’ facilities expedites the hospital’s ability to care for more children both in the hospital and in outpatient clinics
– Its new research facility advances the hospital’s mission to lead pediatric medicine and science nationwide
– New design standards and procedures for workplace areas give the hospital competitive advantages when recruiting talent

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