Ohio State University is awaiting final approval from its Board of Trustees on the largest single facilities project ever undertaken at the university: a 1.9 million-square-foot inpatient hospital, a project with an estimated cost of $1.79 billion.
The new Ohio State University Wexner Center Inpatient Hospital is expected to enhance leading-edge research, clinical training and patient care as part of OSU’s long-term Framework 2.0 planning. Framework 2.0 is a vision that outlines development planning across the campus to advance healthcare, research and the arts.
Pending board approval, the hospital will provide 820 beds in private room settings and will facilitate training for up-and-coming healthcare providers. Dr. Hal Paz, executive vice president and chancellor for Health Affairs at The Ohio State University and CEO of Ohio State Wexner Medical Center, said the project was inspired in part by the COVID-19 pandemic and the need for cutting-edge facilities in the region.
The new hospital, he said, will allow OSU to serve more patients and “align hospital resources with an interprofessional education model and innovative research,” which will allow for a more rapid translation of medical discoveries into direct patient care.
WHAT’S THE IMPACT
The 26-story glass-and-brick facility will feature natural light in patient rooms to improve outcomes, and will boast access to digital technologies for students, faculty and staff. Located east of Cannon Drive, the hospital will forge stronger connections with The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center-Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC–James), Rhodes Hall, Doan Hall, the Richard M. Ross Heart Hospital and the Brain and Spine Hospital.
The OSUCCC-James will gain 148 beds — 84 new and 64 resulting from construction backfilling. The hospital will also feature 60 neonatal intensive care unit bassinets; new diagnostic, treatment and inpatient service areas; emergency department; imaging; operating rooms; and critical care and medical/surgical beds.
The inpatient hospital joins other Ohio State Wexner Medical Center projects that are already underway. Outpatient care centers are currently under construction in New Albany and Dublin, and program offerings will include outpatient surgery, endoscopy, primary care, specialty medical and surgical clinics and related support spaces.
A third outpatient care center is slated for Ohio State’s West Campus Innovation District. The approximately 385,000-square-foot, cancer-focused facility will include central Ohio’s first proton therapy treatment facility in partnership with Nationwide Children’s Hospital.
An off-site Central Sterile Supply building at Kenny and Ackerman roads will also serve Ohio State Wexner Medical Center hospitals and outpatient care centers beginning in summer 2021. An inpatient hospital garage will open in early 2021 and complement the new inpatient hospital with up to 1,900 spaces to serve patients and visitors by replacing the North and South Cannon garages.
THE LARGER TREND
OSU isn’t the only entity eyeing increased healthcare-related construction spending during the pandemic. Between 2020 and 2023, the membership association, New York Building Congress, anticipates total spending on construction for the healthcare sector to increase by 38%, and to exceed $9.4 billion during that period, according to a recent report.
The largest growths are expected to occur in the Bronx and Brooklyn, which are both projected to more than double their healthcare-construction spending. During the forecasted period they could spend over $660 million and $2.3 billion, respectively.
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