Ball State’s $62M health building latest in Indiana flurry of health capital projects

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The latest building project in Indiana’s booming health-care landscape is a $62 million Health Professions complex at Ball State University, which will consolidate classrooms, laboratories, offices, a physical fitness center and community health clinics.

Many of those facilities are now scattered in various buildings across the Muncie campus.

The university broke ground this month on the project, which is expected to be completed by June 2019. It will be paid for with bonds that trustees approved last year.

It will house the university’s College of Health, which was launched last year to bring together six health-related academic departments and 16 clinics, centers and laboratories.

The project is just the latest in Indiana’s flurry of building projects at universities, health systems and regional hospitals. They are investing heavily in a mix of large and small hospitals, urgent care centers, and surgical centers.

The construction blitz is a reminder that health care is one of the largest industries in Indiana, and a huge spender in buildings and equipment.

Indiana University Health is spending $340 million on a new hospital in Bloomington. St. Vincent Health is spending millions of dollars to build eight new microhospitals in central Indiana, and health systems also are spending big on urgent care centers and clinics.

Community Health Network  just opened a new, $60 million cancer center on the northeast side and is building a $175 million replacement for Community Hospital East.

Franklin College is building an $18 million science center. Meanwhile, the state is spending $120 million on a new 159-bed psychiatric hospital on the east side.

At Ball State, the five-story, 165,000 square foot project will be located at the East Quad at the southeast corner of Riverside Avenue and Martin Street. Building materials will include red brick, limestone, glass, terra cotta and metal panel.

The general contractor is Wilhelm Construction of Indianapolis, which beat out three other bidders: Messer Construction Co., Turner Construction Co.and Shiel Sexton Co.

The programs at the College of Health include nursing, nutrition and health sciences, social work, counseling, kinesiology, and speech pathology and audiology.

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