Press Release: 08.23.2013

Banner Estrella Celebrates Construction Milestone on $161 Million New Patient Tower

Banner Estrella Medical Center, recognized by U.S. News & World Report as one of the Valley’s top 10 hospitals, celebrated a major construction milestone today with a topping-out ceremony for the $161 million new patient tower.

Construction of the six-story, 279,000-square-foot tower at Banner Estrella, located at 9201 W. Thomas Road in Phoenix, will deliver 178 additional private patient beds to serve the growing West Valley, bringing the total number of beds at Banner Estrella to 392 at build-out. The lower level through fourth floor will be completely built out, and the fifth and sixth floors will be shelled for future build-out as needed by the community. The new tower will also contain additional obstetrical suites, additional neonatal intensive care unit capacity, new cardiac catheterization labs and a new endoscopy suite. The second tower is anticipated to open to patients in March 2014.

“When we opened in 2005, we promised residents that we would grow our services to meet the growing health care needs of the community,” said Deb Krmpotic, chief executive officer of Banner Estrella. “This project demonstrates our commitment to that promise and to the community we are honored to serve.

“We believe this project will strengthen our position as the leading provider of care in the Southwest Valley by providing our community much-needed inpatient beds, maternity beds, surgical treatment capacity and emergency room capacity to care for both children and adults,” she added.

Banner Estrella’s new patient tower is the first hospital structure in metro Phoenix to be built using concrete since the early 1980s. Aside from being more cost-effective, using concrete enabled the tower expansion to be completed earlier than a steel structure. Concrete also provides structural advantages of dampening vibration and, with medical equipment becoming more sensitive to movement, concrete offers important advantages long-term.

“Topping-out of the growing campus is an important milestone to achieve, marking our progress towards the successful completion of the hospital’s campus expansion that will serve the west Valley community,” said Bo Calbert, president of McCarthy’s Southwest Division.

“Thanks to collaboration with our partners, the choice to use concrete for the tower structure provides for easily adapting to the community’s long-term health needs, and allowed us to fast-track the project in order to meet demands sooner.”

During the topping-out ceremony, the final beam, signed by Banner Estrella staff and members of the design and construction team, was placed atop the tower. A mesquite tree was also lifted atop the structure, which is a tradition of recognizing project milestones achieved without injury. The mesquite tree will later be planted on campus.

“The expansion and renovation of Banner Estrella Medical Center marks a significant commitment by Banner Health to not just meet, but exceed the current and future health care needs of the community,” said Craig Passey, principal with SmithGroupJJR. “We are so proud to have had the opportunity to partner with Banner Health in this commitment, and equally proud of our team’s planning, design, and engineering solutions that support their vision.”

In addition to the new tower, the campus construction plans also include the expansion and renovation of the hospital’s existing emergency room, pharmacy, lab and culinary areas as well as the central plant. The project also includes the construction of two additional parking structures, accommodating approximately 800 spaces for visitor and employees. The entire project is slated for completion in July 2015.

About Banner Estrella Medical Center
Banner Estrella Medical Center is a nonprofit hospital in west Phoenix specializing in heart care, obstetrics, orthopedic care, surgical services, emergency services and diagnostic imaging services. One of the first fully-digital hospitals in the country, Banner Estrella has served as a model for dozens of new hospitals built around the world since it opened in 2005. Banner Estrella is part of Banner Health, a nonprofit healthcare system with 24 hospitals in seven states. 

About SmithGroupJJR
Founded in 1853, SmithGroupJJR is one of the largest architecture, engineering and planning firms in the U.S. With a staff of 800, we specialize in the healthcare, workplace, higher education, and science & technology sectors. Our integrated practice offers depth in all disciplines serving the built and natural environment, including architecture, engineering (civil, structural, mechanical, electrical and plumbing), landscape architecture, urban design and environmental science. For more information, visit

About McCarthy
McCarthy Building Companies, Inc. is the nation’s 8th largest domestic general contractor and is the largest healthcare general contractor in America (Modern Healthcare, March 2013). In Arizona, the firm has completed healthcare facilities projects for the region’s most elite healthcare institutions. McCarthy’s Southwest Division is based in Phoenix. McCarthy also has offices in Newport Beach, San Diego, Sacramento and San Francisco, Calif.; Las Vegas; Albuquerque; Dallas and Houston, Texas; Collinsville, Ill.; Kansas City; St. Louis and Atlanta. McCarthy is 100 percent employee-owned. 

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