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Evansville suburb making pitch for IU medical center

October 23, 2013

A county neighboring Evansville is making a pitch to lure to the area a health science education and research center being planned by Indiana University's medical school.

Warrick County officials unveiled plans Tuesday for what they call a wellness trail of medical-related facilities along Indiana 66 near the eastern Evansville suburb of Newburgh.

The proposal includes a site for the medical education center that's being developed by IU, the University of Evansville, the University of Southern Indiana and Ivy Tech Community College, the Evansville Courier & Press reported.

Warrick County commissioners President Don Williams promoted the county's site with the presence of Deaconess Gateway Hospital and several other health, medical and senior living centers.

"We are convinced that our Warrick Wellness Trail location is absolutely the best one for this project," Williams said. "We would be a good team with them."

University officials are expected next month to issue details for site proposals. Once a location is picked, construction could start in 2015 on the center that could draw up to 2,000 students from the four partner schools.

Much attention on a possible site for the center has focused on downtown Evansville, but Warrick County economic developer Larry Taylor said the location near the Indiana 66 and Interstate 164 interchange offered good access and available utilities.

Greg Wathen, president and CEO of the Economic Development Coalition of Southwest Indiana, said his group would remain neutral on the site for the medical center, although campaigning for it should be expected.

"I can understand why everybody wants it," Wathen said. "Wherever it goes, it will be positive for the community."

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