$1 Billion Ohio Project Approved

COLUMBUS, Ohio — A $1 billion project to expand Ohio State University’s Medical Center was approved by the university’s board of trustees.

The expansion will advance the medical center’s education and research programs and improve patient care, according to school officials.

Design plans call for a centralized tower at the university’s medical center campus that will house the new Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute, along with a new critical care building and spaces for research, education and patient care.

The new 17-story, 1 million square foot tower will include 276 beds in the James Cancer Hospital and 144 beds in the new critical care building. The expansion will allow the medical center to serve 310,000 additional patients annually.

Features of the tower include private rooms with natural lighting, critical care patient rooms to accommodate families that travel to the medical center and a grand concourse that will link hospitals, clinics, laboratories, classrooms, administrative offices and garages.

In addition to the new building, four existing facilities at the medical center will receive mechanical, electrical and plumbing upgrades, according to Jay Kasey, chief operating officer of the OSU Health System.

The university will follow a green construction plan that includes the use of sustainable materials and technologies, products that are recycled and natural lighting wherever possible.

The architect for the project is HOK, and Turner Construction is providing construction management.

Kasey says the proposed building’s “wedding cake design” makes it suitable for rooftop gardens and solar energy. In addition, the building will overlook green space and catchments for storm water management. The university is targeting LEED Silver certification.

The project is expected to create 10,000 new full-time jobs, more than 5,000 construction jobs and provide the community with $1.7 billion in annual economic impact by 2015, according to officials.

“This is precisely the right moment to leverage the strength and momentum of Ohio State’s medical center for the benefit of Ohio and our patients,” says university President E. Gordon Gee. “The new configuration and technologically advanced facilities will ease collaborations among researchers, physicians and patients, reshaping hands-on care and making possible transformational discoveries, therapies and treatments.”

The university will issue bonds for $925 million of the total project cost, and is seeking private donations and public partnership investments for the balance.

In other news, in September, the medical center opened a new travel clinic within its division of infectious diseases. The clinic provides pre-travel counseling, vaccinations and post-travel care. It provides patients access to a full range of vaccinations, preventative medications and destination-specific information.

The travel clinic serves adults in the university community as well as Central Ohio companies and organizations.