Cooper Green Mercy Health will break ground on a new building to house its clinical operations Monday, Jan. 9, with a ceremony at 10 a.m. It will be built on the site of the former Cooper Green parking deck, which was demolished in 2022.
Under an agreement between the Jefferson County Commission and the UAB Health System, the Cooper Green Mercy Health Services Authority was created to manage Cooper Green in April 2020. The new and improved building will replace the current clinical building, which dates to the early 1970s. The current building is costly to maintain and is no longer suited to the efficient delivery of modern ambulatory health care. Glass Curtain Wall Office Building
The new Cooper Green Mercy Health building will be five stories and 211,000 square feet. Overall estimated cost is $120 million, and completion is expected in early 2025. Cooper Green Mercy Health will continue to provide clinical services in the existing building until the new building opens.
“This new facility will enhance our ability to offer high-quality health care for Cooper Green patients,” said David Randall, chief strategy officer for the UAB Health System and board president and CEO of the Cooper Green Mercy Health Services Authority. “This first-class building marks a new chapter in health care delivery, providing better access, better care and better outcomes for the residents of Jefferson County.”
Cooper Green was first called Mercy Hospital when it opened in 1972 as a 319-bed acute care hospital, owned by Jefferson County and providing medical services to all residents of the county regardless of their ability to pay. In 1975, it was renamed to honor former Birmingham mayor Cooper Green. Cooper Green Mercy Health is now an affiliate of the UAB Health System.
It is a full-service ambulatory care facility that includes primary and specialty care clinics, urgent care, physical, occupational and speech therapy, laboratory services, imaging, and pharmacy.
“The vision of the Jefferson County Commission for the betterment of Cooper Green operations is coming to fruition,” said Cal Markert, Jefferson County manager. “Cooper Green has a long history of service to Jefferson County, and this world-class facility will lead us into the future of health care for our citizens in need. We are pleased we could collaborate with the UAB Health System on this project that will ensure our residents the health care they deserve for years to come.”
“The new building will be the centerpiece of our commitment to service; but the heart and soul of Cooper Green will continue to be the outstanding, dedicated employees our patients know and trust,” said Raegan Durant, M.D., medical director for Cooper Green. “The building is designed with the patient in mind, so our services will be even more patient-centered than what we have been able to provide previously. This is an important day for health care in Jefferson County.”
The new building will feature a predominantly glass storefront for its exterior façade, with a glass curtain wall and aluminum-composite metal panels.
Patient drop-off will be on the first floor, along with urgent care, pharmacy, imaging, employee services and a service/loading area. The second floor features administrative offices, a conference center, laboratory facilities and outpatient physical therapy space.
The main clinical services will be on the third floor, including primary care, specialty care, ophthalmology and behavioral health. The oncology clinic, along with partners such as Cahaba Dental, will occupy the fourth floor, which will also include additional leasable clinic space. The fifth floor will be shelled space for future expansion.
Other amenities include an expanded rehabilitation suite, which will feature a covered outdoor section for developing outdoor skills such as navigating curbs and different ground surfaces.
A separate phlebotomy and injection clinic will streamline laboratory visits and improve the process of vaccinations. The clinic areas have been designed to support team-based, multidisciplinary care, making clinic visits more centralized for the comfort of the patients.
The facility will also incorporate natural light throughout the building in stairwells and waiting areas. Oncology infusion suites will feature windows in each treatment room.
The new building will have a gift shop, and food service options are being explored. It will house several other professional and community services, including Cahaba Dental, the Recovery Resource Crisis Center, UAB Community Psychiatry and the UAB School of Nursing PATH clinic.
Smart Glass Transparent To Opaque The general contractor on the project is Brasfield & Gorrie. The architect is Gresham Smith.