OSU plans 2 build­ing projects

The Columbus Dispatch - - Front Page - By Jen­nifer Smola

Ohio State Univer­sity in­tends to build a new hospi­tal tower, which the univer­sity calls “the largest sin­gle fa­cil­i­ties project ever un­der­taken at Ohio State.”

The univer­sity an­nounced re­quests for qual­i­fi­ca­tions Wed­nes­day, seek­ing de­sign pro­fes­sion­als for two Wexner Med­i­cal Cen­ter projects an­tic­i­pated to cost more than $2 bil­lion: the tower and a new am­bu­la­tory cen­ter.

The en­vi­sioned hospi­tal tower will have up to 840 beds in pri­vate rooms to elevate pa­tient-cen­tered

care, safety and train­ing for fu­ture physi­cians, the univer­sity said. The tower is planned for the area west of the Arthur G. James Cancer Hospi­tal, be­tween 12th Av­enue and Med­i­cal Cen­ter Drive.

It will in­clude di­ag­nos­tic, treat­ment and in­pa­tient-ser­vice ar­eas, in­clud­ing space for emer­gency care, imag­ing, op­er­at­ing rooms and crit­i­cal care. The tower also will have 60 neona­tal in­ten­sive-care unit bassinets, dig­i­tal tech­nolo­gies to ad­vance care and teach­ing, ad­di­tional green space and a new park­ing garage.

If plan­ning and ap­proval from Ohio State’s board of trustees go ac­cord­ing to plan, univer­sity of­fi­cials en­vi­sion the tower will be com­pleted well into the next decade, with a ten­ta­tive goal of 2025, univer­sity Pres­i­dent Michael V. Drake said.

“Pend­ing nec­es­sary ap­proval, we are go­ing as fast as we can,” Drake said.

“This is an im­por­tant mo­ment in time,” said Wexner Med­i­cal Cen­ter board mem­ber Robert H. Schot­ten­stein in a state­ment. “We are po­si­tioned to take a bold step for­ward by align­ing all the op­er­a­tions of the med­i­cal cen­ter for the de­liv­ery of care, re­search and in­no­va­tion that will have life-chang­ing, long-term ben­e­fits for cen­tral Ohio, the State and beyond.”

The am­bu­la­tory cen­ter, planned for the west­ern cam­pus be­tween Kenny Road and the Car­mack park­ing lots, would in­clude out­pa­tient op­er­at­ing rooms, ur­gent care with a 23-hour ob­ser­va­tion unit, en­doscopy unit, pre-anes­the­sia cen­ter, di­ag­nos­tic imag­ing and in­ter­ven­tional ra­di­ol­ogy.

Of­fi­cials es­ti­mate the am­bu­la­tory cen­ter will be com­pleted or near com­ple­tion in about three years.

Cost es­ti­mates for the projects are still be­ing de­ter­mined, pend­ing the de­sign process. They are part of a larger plan to ad­vance the health sci­ences at Ohio State, in­clud­ing a pre­vi­ouslyan­nounced in­ter­dis­ci­plinary health-sci­ences cen­ter.

“It’s just crit­i­cally im­por­tant as we look to the next 50, 60, 100 years in medicine, that we have the fa­cil­i­ties to take care of the pa­tients in the com­mu­ni­ties that we serve,” said David P. McQuaid, chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer of the Wexner Med­i­cal Cen­ter, ad­ding that the new fa­cil­i­ties also will serve the med­i­cal cen­ter’s mis­sions of train­ing fu­ture clin­i­cians and in­te­grat­ing re­search.

De­spite a na­tion­wide trend fo­cus­ing on out­pa­tient ser­vices, univer­sity of­fi­cials said their hospi­tal beds are full and there’s great need for more in­pa­tient fa­cil­i­ties in Colum­bus.

“As we fo­cus our­selves on more and bet­ter out­pa­tient ser­vices, we still will have the need to take care of more and more com­pli­cated pa­tients on the in­pa­tient side,” Drake said.

“It’s im­por­tant to look at what’s hap­pen­ing in Colum­bus, the pop­u­la­tion it­self,” McQuaid said. “That’s sig­nif­i­cant, sig­nif­i­cant growth, which is very im­por­tant.”

The an­nounce­ment of the projects comes amid Ohio State’s search for a chan­cel­lor to lead its med­i­cal cen­ter and health-sci­ences en­ter­prise.

“One great thing that that per­son will be able to do is to help guide the com­ple­tion of these projects for­ward,” Drake said.

A project al­ready un­der­way to re­lo­cate Can­non Drive, which runs along the Olen­tangy River to the west of the med­i­cal cen­ter, will help make way for the new hospi­tal tower. The univer­sity had plans to move the road to pro­tect the med­i­cal cen­ter and other univer­sity as­sets from po­ten­tial flood­ing. But by do­ing so, it also freed up de­vel­opable land near the med­i­cal cen­ter.

“The two are tied to­gether,” Drake said. “We would have to move Can­non Drive any­way for safety, but we’re mov­ing Can­non Drive in a way that cre­ates 12 acres of space.”

The Wexner Med­i­cal Cen­ter is com­ing off its best year ever. Dur­ing its last fis­cal year, the non­profit cen­ter ended with $302 mil­lion in rev­enue after ex­penses. Univer­sity of­fi­cials also pointed to a 20 per­cent in­crease in re­search fund­ing from the Na­tional In­sti­tutes of Health, as well as a record num­ber of ap­pli­ca­tions for this fall’s en­ter­ing class at the Col­lege of Medicine.

“That’s what these (re­quests for qual­i­fi­ca­tions) are about, is re­ally grow­ing the fa­cil­i­ties that will al­low us to con­tinue to have this in­cred­i­ble suc­cess that we see go­ing for­ward,” said Dr. Craig Kent, dean of the Col­lege of Medicine.

[BROOKE LAVALLEY/DIS­PATCH]

This is a view of the site where Ohio State Univer­sity plans to erect a new hospi­tal tower. It’s be­tween 12th Av­enue and Med­i­cal Cen­ter Drive.

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