The University of New Mexico has received a green light to issue bonds for the Children's Hospital Expansion Project.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development's Federal Housing Administration (FHA) announced today that it has issued a mortgage insurance commitment under Section 242 of the National Housing Act to cover $183 million of the project to construct the University of New Mexico's 487,000-square-foot Children's Hospital Expansion Project.  The guarantee will save University of New Mexico Hospital (UNMH) approximately $43.5 million in interest over the life of the loan.  The total project cost with funding for the UNM Children's Hospital Expansion Project is $233 million.

"This is good news for a much needed increase in overall hospital facilities and equipment that will greatly enhance access to, and improve medical care for, all New Mexicans," stated UNM Board of Regents President Jamie Koch.

The state's largest capital improvement project to date, the expansion project will offer six new floors of clinical space.  The facility will house New Mexico's only Children's Hospital, a new maternity center, an improved emergency department, New Mexico's only Level 1 trauma center, and an adult critical care center.

"The Children's Hospital Expansion Project will greatly advance the cutting-edge teaching and research programs of UNM's Health Sciences Center," noted University President Louis Caldera, "while increasing our capacity to provide the community with more quality health care."

This project progressed with the collaboration of Senator Pete Domenici, (R-NM), Governor Bill Richardson, the State Legislature, which gave UNM $40 million for the project from the state's cigarette tax increase, the State Commission on Higher Education, the State Board of Finance, the Bernalillo County Commissioners, Indian Health Service and others.

UNM Executive Vice President for Health Sciences R. Philip Eaton, M.D., said the new facility was badly needed to recruit and train medical professionals in New Mexico. "This Children's Hospital Expansion Project will enable us to draw some of the best medical talent in the country and retain them in New Mexico," Eaton said. "This is great news for all New Mexicans."

Once the federal bonds are issued locally, groundbreaking will commence, according to Steve McKernan, Chief Executive Officer for UNMH. Construction should begin this fall with a target completion date of late fall 2007.  For more information on the UNM Children's Hospital Expansion Project, visit http://hosptials.unm.edu and click on the star.

The University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center provides added value to health care through leadership in providing innovative, collaborative education; advancing frontiers of science through research critical to the future of health care; delivering health care services that are at the forefront of science; and facilitating partnerships with public and private biomedical and health enterprises.


Contact: Jennifer Riordan, 272-3322