GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Corewell Health held a ribbon-cutting ceremony Tuesday for its new intensive care unit at the Health Fred and Lena Meijer Heart Center in Grand Rapids.

The ICU has been undergoing a $17.5 million transformation over the last 15 months. The new ward on the eighth floor includes 24 single-unit rooms, bringing the center’s overall critical care capacity to 96 beds. It will start accepting patients March 15.

“These spaces will support our critically ill medical intensive patients. And the increased room size will allow us to have better space for the equipment that we use — ventilators, dialysis machines, etc. — and allow us to have better access to patients while those treatments are being delivered,” Dr. Steve Fitch, medical director of ICUs, said. “Better ability to accommodate families who are an important part of healing process when people are critically ill.”

The hospital said it treats about 2,000 ICU cases annually, with patients generally staying between four and five days.

The space used to contain ambulatory clinic and meeting space. The hospital had to move those teams to free up the floor. This spring, the center will start expanding its cardiothoracic critical care unit on the fifth floor from 22 to 36 beds.