Mayo Clinic announces $5 billion expansion of Rochester campus

The Mayo Clinic is launching a major expansion project executives hope can transform health care.

The Mayo is adding 2.4 million square feet of new buildings to its Rochester complex in the next six years.

But the added space isn’t the main attraction, just like it wasn’t when they built the 21-story Gonda Building two decades ago.

"What truly makes that building special is that it was intentionally designed to improve patient outcomes," said Dr. Craig Daniels of the Mayo Clinic.

A fundamental piece of the new construction will be architectural elements allowing patients to see sunlight and nature while not needing to jump from building to building for appointments.

The Mayo Clinic. (Photo by KEREM YUCEL/AFP via Getty Images) ((Photo by KEREM YUCEL/AFP via Getty Images))

So patients can feel like they have a neighborhood for all their treatment.

And the space will be built to adapt based on changing needs —like potentially converting a cancer wing to treat patients during a pandemic.

"This isn't the usual pat on the back for doing the things we're supposed to do," said Gov. Tim Walz. "This is going above and beyond, and it's done with collaboration that very air that we breathe in Minnesota that builds collaboration."

The Mayo will pay for this $5 billion expansion itself, but it was just a few months ago when Mayo executives threatened to take billions in capital investments to another state based on nursing staffing legislation.

FOX 9 asked them whether this project almost didn’t happen because of that bill, which didn’t pass after legislators edited it to exempt Mayo.

"I don't know if I can answer that," responded Mayo executive Dr. Amy Williams.

The Mayo is also expanding campuses in Arizona, Wisconsin and Mankato.

Executives say they spent years talking to doctors, patients, and neighbors to aim for the best future.

"We're not at the end," said Dr. Daniels. "We're at the beginning. And the beginning of this project for us looks like continuing to progress design, continuing to investigate the right innovations in health care, to make health care better, and continuing to transform health care so that patients can have more care and better outcomes."

Construction on the five new buildings is scheduled to start next year, but the entire project isn’t expected to be done until 2030.