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IU Health expands downtown hospital, opening date pushed back

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Posted at 5:27 PM, Jan 09, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-10 12:12:56-05

INDIANAPOLIS -- IU Health now says its new downtown hospital will be even larger, costlier and take longer to complete than originally planned.

IU health is constructing a massive new campus in the area of 16th street and Capitol Avenue. The board of directors announced today that it is adding nearly 200 new beds --- for a total of 864 --- to help support the forecast increased demand in acute care. IU Health said that the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted how deeply the state relies on IU health, as Indiana's largest hospital system.

“The pandemic proved that IU Health is an indispensable resource to the state and in particular the academic health center is well positioned to take care of critical care patient demand in which we saw a great deal of growth during the pandemic,” Nick Wojciechowski, VP of Project Planning and Operations said.

IU Health says the project will now cost around $4.3 billion dollars up from the original $2.68 billion. That's due to rising construction costs and increasing the size of the hospital. IU Health says the new facility will help them save $50 million dollars a year in operating costs by eliminating doubling up on many of its services.

“We are here to make Hoosiers healthier, and we are very committed to that mission and vision, and we see this hospital as an indispensable part on delivering on that vision for all of Hoosiers,” Nick Wojciechowski, VP of Project Planning and Operations said.

According to a press release the new hospital will also continue to be committed to its supplier diversity program, which increases business opportunities for veteran, women, minority (XBE) and locally owned businesses. The goal for the downtown hospital project includes 30 percent XBE participation on design and construction work with a minimum of 50 percent Indiana-based business participation.

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This is a rendering of the new IU Health hospital set to open in 2027.

The hospital and surrounded buildings will also be developed with a concentration on environmental sustainability by managing pollution and minimizing runoff. IU Health has removed soil contamination from previous commercial uses and buildings will be U.S. Green Building Council LEED Silver-certified and U.S. EPA Energy Star rated for energy efficiency and a healthy indoor climate.

The new hospital is expected to open in 2027 nearly a year later than originally planned.

IU health states that the new date reflects the time needed to construct the larger building in the midst of a skilled labor shortage.