Rendering of the new emergency department planned for Children’s Wisconsin’s hospital in Wauwatosa. (Photo: Children’s Wisconsin.)

Children’s Wisconsin is increasing the size of the planned expansion of its hospital in Wauwatosa to include a new emergency department.

The planned changes will increase the projected cost of the expansion to $385 million, up 45% from its initial estimate of $265 million, the health system said in a news release.

Children’s Wisconsin had planned to renovate its existing emergency department. It now plans to build a new emergency department in the front of the hospital.

The new emergency department, which is expected to be completed in late 2023, would have 48 treatment rooms, including four dedicated to behavioral health, according to the news release. The hospital’s emergency department now has 34 rooms.

It also will have its own ambulance bay. The hospital now shares an ambulance bay with Froedtert Hospital.

The two hospitals are the academic medical centers of the Medical College of Wisconsin.

Children’s Wisconsin’s hospital in Wauwatosa had more than 70,000 patient visits — 192 a day on average — last year.

The expansion project, announced in 2018, includes a six-story building for physician offices and renovating and consolidating surgical services. It is the first large building project at the hospital since 2009, and the fourth large expansion since the hospital moved to the Milwaukee Regional Medical Center in 1988.

The final design is being developed and the project still needs approvals from the City of Wauwatosa.

The Ladish Co. Foundation has contributed $4 million and the Jendusa family has contributed $1 million toward the cost of the expansion.

“The generosity of donors allows Children’s to provide programs in innovative ways and to provide services that are not self-sustaining,” Meg Brzyski Nelson, president of the Children’s Wisconsin Foundation, said in a statement.

“The experience families will have in this new space will be better because of their support.”

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