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The Journal Gazette

Sunday, April 15, 2018 1:00 am

IU Health may update Indy facility

Associated Press

INDIANAPOLIS – Indiana University Health officials are considering whether to save any of the century-old sections of the state's largest hospital as they prepare for a planned $1 billion consolidation project.

A major overhaul is expected of the 589-bed Methodist Hospital near downtown Indianapolis. IU Health's plan calls for closing the nearby University Hospital and consolidating clinical operations into expanded facilities at Methodist and Riley Hospital for Children.

“We are absolutely arriving at a set of options which we will be able to articulate in a more defined master plan late this year,” said Dr. Ryan Nagy, president of Methodist and University hospitals.

Officials are evaluating which buildings on the Methodist campus should be renovated, the Indianapolis Business Journal reported. Many of the buildings have mismatched floor plates, uneven ceilings and a conglomeration of electrical, mechanical and plumbing systems.

Trying to update the existing infrastructure can be a challenge, said Timothy Frank, a partner at Artekna, an Indianapolis-based design and architecture firm specializing in health care.

“It's very complicated to renovate an old hospital, and often not worth the effort,” Frank said.

About a third of the campus can likely be saved and updated, said Monte Hoover, the senior director of health care planning for engineering firm BSA LifeStructures. Some of those buildings are less than 40 years old.

Trying to save Methodist Hospital “in its entirety would be a massive undertaking, Hoover said.