Marian University will spend more than $32 million to build a facility for its new college of osteopathic medicine and expects the school to add $44 million a year to the Indianapolis-area economy.
The small Catholic college south of the Indianapolis Museum of Art will open the medical school in the fall of 2012. It will be the state's second such program, joining the Indiana University School of Medicine.
Marian intends to enroll 150 students in each of four classes, topping out at a student body of 600. The school will directly employ more than 350, including many scientific and medical researchers.
The economic impact estimate comes from a study commissioned by Marian and conducted by the Indianapolis-based Center for Urban Policy and the Environment. It was to be made public Tuesday.
Once the school is operating at full capacity, Marian will spend $18.5 million a year to run it, including $13.2 million on wages, according to the study. Students will spend another $8 million per year, the study estimated.
The study assumed the impact of those dollars would be multiplied as they ricochet in the local economy. The total economic impact will be more than $44 million, which will support about 450 total jobs.
“We wanted people to see that this is a game changer,” Marian President Dan Elsener said, explaining why Marian commissioned the study.
Elsener hopes the economic impact numbers help as Marian seeks to raise more money to fund the medical school and several interrelated projects on its campus.
Those projects include new facilities to support the doubling of math and science undergraduate students, which Elsener expects as a result of the medical school opening. Marian also is expanding graduate nurse training, and it will need more housing and parking to accommodate the additional students.
In all, those projects will cost $200 million. Marian has so far raised $130 million toward that goal.
The medical school by itself was initially projected to cost $75 million. Marian announced its plans to start the school early this year after it secured a $30 million gift from anonymous donor.
Elsener hopes the new medical school will help produce more family doctors for Indiana. More than half the counties in the state suffer from a shortage of primary care doctors.
Last month, Marian hired Dr. Paul Evans as dean of the new medical school. Evans, who started work Sept. 1, spent the previous six years launching a new osteopathic medical school in Atlanta.
“This is a unique opportunity,” Evans said. “It’s a new medical school that has absolutely no restrictions. All the knowledge I’ve gained over my career, here’s a good opportunity to make it happen.”
Marian has established partnerships with local hospitals—such as St. Vincent Health, Community Health Network and Westview Hospital—and is working on more to help its students finish their training.