COLUMBUS, Ohio — Trustees of Ohio State University today approved architecture and construction plans for ProjectONE — a $1 billion building project to expand education, research and care at the university’s medical center.
Calling ProjectOne “one of the largest job-generating initiatives in Ohio’s history,” Ohio State said it is expected to create as many as 10,000 full-time jobs — 6,000 medical center jobs and 4,000 jobs in the region to support spending by the university and its faculty, staff and visitors – and more than 5,000 construction jobs.
The project is expected to generate $1.7 billion in annual economic impact by 2015.
“ProjectONE is not only an investment in the medical center, but also an investment in our future – improving health and financial well-being for our families and their children, our state, our nation and the global community,” said Dr. Steven G. Gabbe, CEO of the medical center, in a written statement. “This investment will begin paying dividends almost immediately by creating jobs we need to jump-start Ohio’s economic recovery and continue long into the future.”
The university’s $1 billion investment in Ohio State University Medical Center’s central campus will include a tower that houses a new Arthur G. James Cancer Hospitaland Richard J. Solove Research Institute, along with a new critical-care building, and spaces for research, education and patient care. Ohio State plans to issue bonds to raise $925 million to pay for the project, and to seek private donations and public partnership investments for the balance.
“We have reached capacity in the James Cancer Hospital and in University Hospital critical care beds, and we must make a significant investment to continue to provide excellent patient care and create new knowledge through translational research,” Gabbe said medical center. Inpatient admissions at the cancer hospital, known as The James, are expected to grow by 21 percent over the next ten years. ProjectONE would enable the medical center to serve 310,000 additional patients each year.
Original plans called for a 17-story tower clad mostly in glass, but the university opted for a design that added a lot of brick to the exterior, according to the Columbus Dispatch. Though the new design added $1.7 million to building costs, it could save the university between $50 million or $60 million, Jay Casey, chief operating officer for the health system told the Dispatch, because it included an existing parking garage and atrium.
A few projects in the expansion already are complete, such as a two-story addition to Ross Heart Hospital, according to Business First of Columbus. But Friday’s board action clears the way for most of the $1 billion expansion. The $780 million price tag for the project first proposed in 2006 had ballooned to $1.4 billion by last year but was deflated by recent design changes, Business First said.
In addition to supporting higher-quality patient care, the expansion supports personalized medicine, which has the potential to make health care more affordable and accessible, the university said. “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,” said 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.”
- Tower located off Cannon Drive at the 12th Avenue intersection
- 276-bed James Cancer Hospital
- 144-bed critical care building
- Aesthetics like natural light and green space to promote patient healing
- Apartment-like quarters for visiting families
- Grand concourse
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