IU Medical School to downtown Evansville

BLOOMINGTON, IN (AP) - The new Indiana University Medical School will be built in downtown Evansville.

The IU Board of Trustees voted unanimously for the location following a recommendation by Indiana University President Michael McRobbie.

The trustees were looking for at least 170,000 square feet for the medical school.

Four proposals were received - downtown Evansville, Warrick County, the Promenade and USI.

At a meeting Friday morning of the IU Board of Trustees Facility and Auxiliaries Committee, McRobbie said the high quality of the proposals made the decision difficult.

He said a detailed and complex evaluation process for the new med school focused first and foremost on academic quality.

"The centrally located downtown site, which is in close proximity to all the city's major medical facilities, was the clear preference of our students and also received strong support from our academic and hospital partners," said McRobbie.  "While the academic quality of the programs created by this expansion is our paramount concern, it is our hope that this project also will play an important role in the continued economic development of Evansville's downtown."

Evansville officials have estimated that the new IU School of Medicine facility could have an annual economic impact of as much as $340 million by 2020.

"There are going to be a lot of investors who are going to be very interested in acquiring downtown real estate. I suspect we'll see more restaurants, more bars, more shops, all begin to open in the next two years. This is a historic day for the City of Evansville, said Evansville Mayor Lloyd Winnecke.

The project cost of the Evansville location is $69.5 million ($87 million to include area plan/costs) with  TIF District supported incentives of $35 million.

In the next several weeks, IU will begin to negotiate a contract with the development team and the lobbying will begin to urge the state legislature to help fund the project.

The new med school facility is to be completed in late 2017 and will house programs from the IU School of Medicine and IU School of Dentistry, as well as Ivy Tech Community College, the University of Southern Indiana and the University of Evansville.

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