More buildings set to fall on IUPUI campus

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Get ready for some more bulldozers, dust and noise at Eskenazi Health and the IUPUI campus.

The health care provider is preparing to knock down the former IUPUI Psychiatric Research Building at 791 Eskenazi Avenue, just north of Eskenazi Hospital. Also set for razing is the former Wishard Helipad site, near the Roudebush VA Medical Center on the northwest end of the Eskenazi campus.

Eskenazi Health issued a notice July 1 seeking sealed bids for the “abatement and demolition” of the facilities. Bids are due July 26. A pre-bid conference will be held at the project site July 18.

The four-story Psychiatric Research building, constructed in 1957, has been vacant for more than a year. Operations in the building were transferred to the IU Health Neuroscience Center, near West 16th Street and Senate Avenue, which opened in 2014.

But it wasn’t been a quick move. The Psychiatric Research Building housed radioactive material, and the building had to be decommissioned, under the supervision of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

It’s the latest bit of rearranging in the sprawling hospital campus.

When the owner of the old Wishard Hospital—Health and Hospital Corp. of Marion County—decided to move out of its former home, it set off a big facilities shuffle that is still continuing.

The old Wishard Hospital was a deteriorating hodgepodge of buildings, some a century old. In a huge project that cost more than $700 million, the county built a new hospital, called Eskenazi Hospital.

The new hospital, which opened in 2013, is a 1.2 million-square-foot, 327-bed facility built on 37 acres at the west end of the IUPUI campus.

The project involved a land swap. The county got a piece of land owned by IUPUI to build the new Eskenazi Hospital. In turn, it gave the old Wishard Hospital property to IUPUI.

The land Wishard received contained the old Larue Carter psychiatric hospital facility and the former State Department of Health building, both of which have been torn down.

The Psychiatric Research Building and helipad are the latest to get involved in the shuffle. So what will happen to those sites?

Michelle O'Keefe, an Eskenazi spokeswoman, said the Psychiatric Research Building site will eventually be developed into a parking lot and garden for the Women’s Services and Richard M. Fairbanks Burn Center entry. And the helipad site will be lawn.

Information about when demolition will start, how long it will take and when it will be completed will be determined as part of the bidding process, she added.



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