IU Medical School to break ground Oct. 23

Gabi Wy

The groundbreaking for the new Indiana University Medical School Evansville campus is planned for 10 a.m. Oct. 23.

Although planners estimate the building to be completed by late 2017, Vice President of Finance and Administration Steve Bridges said students probably won’t be able to study at the new campus until the spring of 2018.

“It’s going to be a cool opportunity for medical students to stay local,” pre-medicine major freshman Hannah Hillenbrand said. “I want to stay local because there are lots of great hospitals in Evansville.”

Hillenbrand is one of six B/MD students at the university, which is part of a dual program through the university and the IU School of Medicine. The same program is offered at University of Evansville.

Currently, IU holds a division of its medical school in the third floor of the university Health Professions Building.

The university’s Board of Trustees decided to move forward with planning the medical school in July 2015. The Commission of Higher Education approved the multi-institutional project of building the IU medical campus downtown Evansville at a meeting in  Aug. 2015.

The project awaits final approval by the State Budget Committee Oct. 16.

“There’s been no formal agreement signed,” Bridges said, “only a memorandum of understanding.”

Thirty million dollars of the project will come from the city of Evansville, $19.2 will come from IU through the state, $6 million from IU through leasing and $6 million from USI through the state.

Persons involved in the project include the presidents of IU, UE and USI, as well as Evansville IU Medical Center director Steven Becker.

Designers, picked from design companies Skanska and SLAM Architects for this project, expect the building to be approximately 145,000 square feet. The campus will be located on 6th Street and Chestnut Street.

“If you measure profits by dollars and cents, I wouldn’t see it as a direct profit for USI,” Bridges said. “Any time we can collaborate with other institutions, we are stronger.”