ROCHESTER, Minn. — Mayo Clinic plans to renovate and upgrade 56,000 square feet of downtown public and staff subways as well as other public areas in the next 14 months.

Walking through the subway connecting the Damon Parking Ramp to the Gonda Building on Monday, Oct. 7, Chairman of Mayo Clinic Facilities Doug Holtan gestured at the photo murals on the corridor walls and said that stretch of subway will be one of the six areas to be redone.

He described the project as including a "significant" portion of the underground corridors used by thousands of Mayo Clinic patients and staff daily.

The work will be done is six phases. It is expected to start in November with the goal of concluding by December 2020.

Holtan could not give a cost estimate for the ambitious project, because some of the construction bids are still out.

But he did say some of the areas will be closed while work is done, and pedestrians will be detoured through other routes.

Standing by the staff elevators and walking through the subway connecting to the Baldwin Building, Holtan stressed that the work is not just being done for the patients' benefit.

"We want to revitalize the staff areas to help energize them as they arrive for work and go about their day," he said.

Construction will occur in phases across six zones.

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 peregrine falcon exhibit.

Zone 3: Mayo Building-Hilton Subway and Courtyard Projects. This work 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.

Work will begin in the first zone, and at times construction will be underway in more than one zone.

"To lead in health care and to truly be in a category of one, we must provide an exceptional experience in every way," stated Mayo Clinic CEO and President Dr. Gianrico Farrugia in the announcement of the project.