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New patient pavilion is Poughkeepsie, N.Y.’s largest construction project to date

The pavilion includes a 66-room Emergency Department.

January 16, 2021 |
Vassar Brothers Medical Center's 752,000-sf patient tower

The 752,000-sf building represents the first significant transformation of Vassar Brothers Medical Center in 133 years. Images: Brad Feinknopf

Even as healthcare systems around the country have struggled financially during the coronavirus pandemic, big-ticket projects are getting built to meet expanding patient needs, especially in growing markets.

On January 11, Nuvance Health opened its $545 million, eight-level Patient Pavilion addition to Vassar Brothers Medical Center in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. This is the largest single construction project in this city’s history.

“It’s important to remember this project represents the most significant transformation of Vassar Brothers since its inception in 1887,” said Tim Massie, Nuvance Health’s senior vice president of marketing, public affairs, and government relations. “The patient pavilion will be a landmark and asset for the community, a gateway to the city of Poughkeepsie and a site known for the excellent patient care and services provided by its staff.”


The pavilion's curved shape is meant to suggest the nearby Hudson River.


Designed by CallisonRTKL and built by a joint venture between Walsh Construction and Consigli Construction, the 752,610-sf pavilion will serve the greater Hudson Valley with 264 private patient rooms on the top four floors, a 72,000-sf 30-room Intensive Care Unit, 13 surgical suites, and the Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen emergency and trauma center (which opened two days before the rest of the pavilion) with 66 exam rooms and ample parking for ambulances and the public.

The pavilion also features the O’Shea Conference Center that can accommodate up to 300 people, the 220-seat Panichi family Café with outdoor dining, a rooftop helipad, and green roofs to assist in the building’s water management and patient views.

There’s a designated Meditation Room, and ground-floor access to an outdoor public terrace and a two-level atrium that overlook the Hudson River. (The pavilion’s curved shape is meant to emulate the river.)

Built to achieve LEED certification, the pavilion’s sustainable elements include lower-level roofs that are lined with flora to assimilate the structure with the surrounding environment. High-performance dual-paneled glazing lessens solar gain, and low-reflectivity glass prevents bird collisions. LED Lights, energy recovery, and insulation are expected to reduce the pavilion’s energy consumption by 20%. And the building includes fixtures and controls installed to save an estimated 20,000 gallons of water per day.

An underground garage provides a charging station for hybrid and electric vehicles.


Vassar Brothers Medical Center first announced this project in September 2016, and the pavilion took four years to complete, during which the Walsh/Consigli team removed 100,000 cubic feet of rock along with 100 blasts to prepare the pavilion’s foundation and reroute utilities. The team installed an estimated 3.45-million-linear-ft of cabling, 1.4-million pounds of ductwork, 200,000 sf of metal panel facade, 775,500 linear ft of conduit, 13,000 light fixtures, 4,400 tons of steel, 30,000 cubic yards of concrete, and 103,000 sf of glass.

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