Rendering of sky view of new surgical tower

UNC Medical Center Surgical Tower

We are constructing a new 357,000 square foot Surgical Tower in front of the N.C. Memorial Hospital. This building will allow us to create new, enhanced surgical spaces, new pre- and post- op rooms, and more waiting space for our patients’ families and loved ones. This project also includes a new 15 bed Observation Unit.

While the results will be well worth it, this project will have substantial impact on the UNC Medical Center campus, including changes to traffic flows, both inside and outside of the hospital, and new protocols to limit the inconvenience for our patients and guests.

The site map provided by Guest Services

  • The Surgical Tower project is part of our effort to best serve the people of North Carolina by investing in our UNC Medical Center facilities. When completed in 2024, the new tower will feature modernized surgical spaces, enhanced pre-op and post-op rooms for patients, and comfortable spaces for their loved ones to wait during their procedure.
  • In addition to enhanced space for patients and their families, the Surgical Tower will expand our surgical spaces so that we can accommodate new equipment and procedures, which are being developed by providers at UNC Medical Center and around the world.
  • We understand that there are challenges which will arise when a project of this scale is undertaken, and we appreciate your patience as we do what is necessary to provide the best, most advanced care for you, your loved ones and the people of North Carolina.
  • While the tower is under construction, please include a little extra time for trips to UNC Medical Center.
  • We are constantly looking for ways to minimize the disruption our growth may cause. Have a suggestion? Email it to
  • An aerial view of the construction zone:Surgical Tower Phase 1 Construction Zone


How long will the project take to complete?

The Surgical Tower is scheduled to be completed in 2023 with first patient in 2024.

What can I expect during the construction of the new Surgical Tower?

It may take extra time to get to your appointment. Patients that come to the hospital regularly may find that their preferred routes for getting to their appointments may not be available; extra time should be built in to account for traffic and wayfinding. If you are having trouble with wayfinding, please consult our guest services staff.  

Will the construction project affect the Chapel Hill Transit stop in front of the hospital?

The Chapel Hill Transit stop will not be moved during the construction. However, the route you travel from the Chapel Hill Transit stop into the hospital may be affected.

How will the construction project affect Manning Drive?

Other than a few weekends, when crews will need to work on the pedestrian bridges spanning the road, Manning Drive should be largely unaffected by the construction.

Why build the Surgical Tower?

Surgical practice has come a long way since the early 1950s when Memorial Hospital was first built.  New procedures and new equipment mean that more space is needed to accommodate the kinds of equipment and personnel required for advanced medical procedures.

Not only will the Surgical Tower provide us with more space for patients, families, visitors and providers, it will also provide room needed to grow and innovate and to remain at the top of the field in surgical practice.

What are some of the features I can expect once the new Surgical Tower is done?

When completed, the Surgical Tower will include more than 357,000 sq. feet of space and will be the largest single building on the UNC Medical Center campus in Chapel Hill. It will feature operating rooms that range from 650 to 1,000 sq. feet – almost double the size of our current spaces – enhanced pre-op and post-op rooms for patients, and comfortable spaces for their loved ones to wait during their procedure.  There will also be a new 15 bed Observation Unit to support an efficient patient care plan.

I have questions that are not addressed. How should I direct them?

Please direct your questions to


Building Renderings

  • Sky view of the new surgical tower renderingAerial View from the Southwest

  • Rendering of the building from Manning DriveRendering of the building from Manning Drive

  • Rendering of surgical tower front entrance Rendering of the canopied entry

  • Rendering of front of surgical tower buildingRendering of the Surgical Tower Entry

Looking for Patient and Visitor Parking?

Patient and Visitor parking information is available here.