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Stage one of the new facility, scheduled to open in October, will have 12 beds brought into use, and a further 10 to be added during stage two - under way now and due to be finished next year.
ICU charge nurse manager Shayne Wylie has already "seen" the new facility - staff have been using virtual-reality goggles to help design their new workspace.
Having seen the recently opened new gastroenterology suite, Mr Wylie is now champing at the bit to be working in his own redeveloped unit.
"I can certainly see the end in sight, and it has certainly been a long time coming.
"The VR was indicative but there's nothing like seeing it in the flesh, and I don't think we appreciated - well, I certainly didn't - the complexity of what goes above the ceiling, until you actually see it being made.
"It's pretty impressive."
Much of the hard work has been done, and much of that is about to be covered over- the cabling and gas lines in the ceiling, and pipes which had to be rerouted from floor to roof.
Framing is now in place for nurses stations, offices and beds, as well as a dedicated teaching space. Improved and enlarged spaces for families will form part of stage two.
It has not been an easy job, Mr Wylie said: reconfiguring an existing building has meant having to work around inconveniences such as existing structural pillars.
However, the work would be invaluable when it came time to design the ICU unit in the new Dunedin Hospital.
"We're really fortunate to get a test run in designing and building an ICU," he said.
"Hopefully, the second time around we will be aware of what mistakes we made, what things work and don't work, so we can design those in or out of the next stage ... then we get to go in with a clean slate and a brand new hospital."