IU Health announces plan for new hospital in downtown Indianapolis

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INDIANAPOLIS– Indiana University Health announced plans Wednesday for a new, $1.6 billion hospital and an expanded medical campus that will consolidate its two existing hospitals in downtown Indianapolis.

The expanded 44-acre campus, south of the existing IU Health Methodist Hospital campus, will extend from 16th Street to 12th Street and from Capitol Ave. west to I-65. The new hospital will serve as the core of the campus and will be built over the next six years, opening in 2026.

Rending of the new expanded campus (IU Health)

At that time, operations of IU Health Methodist and at IU Health University Hospital will be consolidated. The Methodist Hospital complex will undergo renovation to be integrated into the expanded campus.

“Combining operations of the two hospitals eliminates costly duplication of high-acuity services while furthering IU Health’s mission by providing world-class, patient-centered care, delivered in ways that are more cost-efficient, accessible and convenient. The oldest portion of Methodist dates to 1908, while University Hospital opened in 1970,” IU Health said in a release.

The preliminary blueprint for the design features three glass-fronted towers about 10 stories tall with a rooftop helipad. There will be enclosed walkways to nearby buildings and a parking garage. The site will be sculpted as a “green campus” to help manage pollution and limit runoff into the White River.

Also planned on the campus are research and education facilities for IU School of Medicine to house its physicians, faculty, students and scientists.

Rendering of the new hospital (IU Health)

IU Health says the new hospital will be able to hold up to 576 private patient beds and multiple outpatient care areas. Once the Methodist complex has been renovated, parts of it will be connected to the new hospital via a walkway so it can provide additional beds, exam rooms and clinical space.

Officials say the COVID-19 pandemic was influential in the design of the new hospital.

“The coronavirus pandemic has critically influenced the design of the new hospital and campus, reinforcing the need for a flexible design with acuity-adaptable spaces, including sufficient intensive care units to handle surges of ill or infectious patients,” said Dr. Ryan Nagy, president of IU Health Methodist and University hospitals. “The new hospital will enhance the patient experience and our workforce will benefit from a design that supports more efficiency in care delivery and operations.”

IU Health says its new campus will be its largest investment yet and one of the most notable construction projects in Indianapolis’ history.

In addition to this project, IU Health says it is replacing hospitals in Bloomington and Frankfort while expanding IU Health West Hospital in Avon, and recently opened a cancer center at IU Health North Hospital in Carmel, at a combined cost of over $500 million.

Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis will be remote from the new campus, but is getting a new maternity and newborn health center that will hold birthing services moving out of Methodist in 2021.

IU Health aims to award 25% participation on design and construction projects to certified veteran, women and minority-owned businesses and achieve at least 50% local business participation.

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