IU trustees approve downtown Evansville medical school

The state budget committee will vote in October whether to release $25.2 million in state funds to build a medical school campus in downtown Evansville.

The Indiana University board of trustees gave final approval Friday for the IU medical school that will cover almost six square blocks in Evansville, the Evansville Courier & Press reported. The Indiana Legislature approved the funding in the state budget for the IU and University of Southern Indiana portions of the medical campus earlier this year.

The University of Evansville, a private institution, is contributing $6 million. City Council has approved a $57 million bond for the campus and related development.

Mayor Lloyd Winnecke said he doesn't see any reason the state budget committee wouldn't release the funds when it meets Oct. 12, saying that will clear the way for groundbreaking.

"Everyone realizes this is more than an economic boost to the city," Winnecke said. "It's really an important change in how medical education proceeds in Indiana. A lot of cities in Indiana, like a lot of states, have seen a growing shortage in the health care professionals. So the fact that there's a collaborative effort on the educational front and on the medical front is really important."

The campus is a partnership among the IU School of Medicine, University of Southern Indiana and University of Evansville. Ivy Tech Community College intended to move health classes to the campus, but did not receive state funding to do so.

The medical school's completion date is tentatively set for December 2017.

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