Downtown Indianapolis will open a new IU Health hospital in 4-5 years

Indiana University Health’s new flagship hospital in downtown Indianapolis will feature three multi-story inpatient towers that could rise up to 16 stories on the health system’s sprawling campus along 16th Street, undergoing an expansion of 44 acres.

The new $1.6 billion facility, which will replace Methodist and University Hospitals, will be on the southwest corner of 16th Street and Capitol Avenue and will take four to five years to build.

IU Health Methodist Hospital will remain where it is now until its successor opens, then portions will be razed and portions will be retained and used as needed. A bridge over 16th Street will connect the old and the new.

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The future of healthcare

Seven years ago, when IU Health first announced plans to build a new downtown health center, the focus was on shifting the balance between inpatient and outpatient care. The COVID-19 pandemic, however, has reaffirmed the need for hospitals to maintain sufficient space to house seriously ill people.

As it is still unclear what the future holds for healthcare, flexibility remains essential.

“The new downtown hospital will become an iconic addition to the Indianapolis skyline, representing hope and healing for future generations,” said James Mladucky, vice president of design and construction. for IU Health in a press release. “Of significant size and stature, it is primarily designed as a destination for patients, offering state-of-the-art medicine in a flexible facility that can be reconfigured over time to adapt to advances in medical care. and changes in patient demand.

On Thursday, the hospital filed two sets of plans with the Metropolitan Development Commission for review, one showing 14 floors, the other 16 floors. Both include a multi-story base that will house an ambulatory care center.

Hospital design and downtown construction

Together, the three towers can hold up to 672 private patient rooms and if needed, IU Health could add a fourth tower to the south, IU Health officials said in a press release. A rooftop deck and two helipads will be installed atop the facility.

Rendering of IU Health's new Downtown Indianapolis Hospital to be built at the southwest corner of 16th and the Capitol.  The view is from the middle of this intersection, looking southwest.

The latest design calls for about 100 more hospital beds and taller towers than IU Health had planned about a year and a half ago, before COVID-19 strained its resources. To cope with the influx of omicron patients, IU Health rearranged conference rooms and other spaces.

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Initial construction has been underway for months. Next week, crews will begin excavating the foundations of the hospital. Wilhelm Construction and Gilbane Building Co. will serve as joint construction managers. The building is designed by CURIS Design, a collaborative effort of BSA LifeStructures, Ratio Design and CSO Architects.

IU Health officials said they aim to award about 30% of design and construction projects to businesses owned by veterans, women and minorities, and 50% to local businesses.

The hospital has set up a website that provides additional information about the project, including its impact on traffic in the area.

Contact IndyStar reporter Shari Rudavsky at [email protected] Follow her on Facebook and Twitter: @srudavsky.

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