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Extensive renovations coming to pedestrian subways in Downtown Rochester

ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) — Thousands of people use the downtown pedestrian subway system each day, especially during the winter months. That’s why it’s getting a much-needed makeover.

The renovations are expected to create a more inviting atmosphere at Mayo Clinic.

Mayo Clinic is looking to make the subways brighter, while also adding more seating areas — so patients and visitors have a place to relax between appointments. This includes the patient cafeteria.

The flooring of the halls will become more wheelchair-friendly, which means replacing the tile and carpet areas with a smoother surface.

One of the leaders of the project says visitors and patients’ first impressions of the Mayo Clinic often come from the subways — which is why work needs to be done.

Doug Holtan, Vice Chair of Facilities and Support Services at Mayo Clinic

“Many times, the subway system is the first impression people have of Mayo Clinic, so continuing to be bold and go forward with transforming our space with the lighting, flooring, wall covers and just messaging that we can provide to patients and staff we feel are critical to everyone’s experience – whether you’re coming here for care or you’re coming here to take care of our patients,” said Doug Holtan, Vice Chair of Facilities and Support Services at Mayo Clinic.

According to the Mayo Clinic News Network, construction will occur in phases across six zones to limit disruptions:

  • Zone 1: Baldwin-Guggenheim patient area and Mayo-Harwick staff corridor
    This area will receive improved lighting and acoustics, modern finishes, and displays of Mayo values and staff photography.

  • Zone 2: Wanek Family Concourse (Mayo Building)
    Among the projects in this area will be improvements to the popular peregrine falcon exhibit.

  • Zone 3, Mayo Building-Hilton Subway and Courtyard
    Projects will include enclosing what’s now an outdoor courtyard at the Hilton Building for year-round use.

  • Zone 4: Damon Subway
    This area will receive updated restrooms by the elevators, new lighting and modern finishes, improved wayfinding, and additional seating.

  • Zone 5: Siebens Patient Cafeteria and Subway
    New dining and lounge seating will be added, with updated coffee stations and tableside food service.

  • Zone 6: Hilton Atrium and Desk C
    The atrium will be brightened with modern design, and the area will receive a new seating arrangement, an updated check-in desk design, and improved routing of foot traffic.

The exact price tag on the project is still to be determined, but the Mayo Clinic usually spends $200 million a year for construction. Work will begin November 1 and should be done by the end of December 2020.

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Maddy Wierus

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