updated: 10/23/2013 7:48:46 AM

Warrick County Throws Hat in Ring For Medical Campus

Dan McGowan, InsideINdianaBusiness.com

 Taylor says the 75-acre site offers a clean slate for developers.

Warrick County officials have released their proposal for a potential Indiana University Health medical campus in southwest Indiana. The Warrick Wellness Trail is shovel-ready and situated near I-69 and I-64. Success Warrick County Executive Director Larry Taylor says research suggests such a campus could result in "several hundred million dollars" in benefits to the local economy. He says the proposed Academic Health Science Education & Research Center could also spur biotech manufacturing, retail and housing.

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You can view a master plan of the Warrick County proposal by clicking here.

Also under consideration are three plans in Vanderburgh County. One is a site on the University of Southern Indiana campus one would be located in downtown Evansville and one would be on the city's east side.

Taylor believes the final decision on where to put the campus could be made by the Indiana University Board of Trustees in either February or April of next year.

October 22, 2013

News Release

WARRICK COUNTY, Ind. - As the Indiana University School of Medicine and its partners carefully examine the Southwest Indiana region for the new Academic Health Science Education & Research Center, Warrick County officials are confident that the Warrick Wellness Trail will emerge as the ideal location.

The new campus, a joint effort between the IU School of Medicine-Evansville, Ivy Tech Community College, the University of Evansville, the University of Southern Indiana, Deaconess Health System, Jasper Memorial Hospital and Health Care Center, Owensboro Medical Health System and St. Mary's Medical Center is expected to serve thousands of area students preparing for careers in medical and associated fields.

Preliminary planning suggests that the campus, on the site of the original Allen Homeplace Farms and Schnapf Family property, will require at least 150,000 square feet of classroom laboratory, office and related space, with extensive parking for faculty, staff, students and volunteers. Those requirements alone give Warrick Wellness Trail a significant advantage, suggests Don Williams, President of the Warrick County Commissioners. "Warrick Wellness Trail was designed specifically to serve the healthcare needs of our area's growing and aging population," Williams says. "It offers extensive acreage that's already approved and cleared for development, more than enough infrastructure to support the campus and excellent transportation access for the million residents in the Tri-State area."

Warrick Wellness Trail is already home to Deaconess Gateway Hospital, the new St. Mary's Epworth Crossing, medical offices, and senior care and skilled living facilities. It provides excellent transportation access for the entire area, with its location just off Interstate 164, at the intersection of Epworth and Lynch Roads, near the six-lane Lloyd Expressway (SR66), just minutes from Interstates 64 and 69, U.S. 41 and State Roads 61, 261 and 62. The site is also convenient for faculty, staff, students and volunteers needing quick access to the campus.

"One of the most important considerations is that the 75-acre Warrick Wellness Trail site has clear title and is shovel-ready," adds Larry Taylor, Executive Director of Success Warrick County, the county's economic development office. "That means the phase one environmental study has already been completed, and we wouldn't need to condemn and demolish any existing buildings, so development could proceed much more quickly." Warrick County government leaders are supportive of the project.

Taylor points to several other advantages of the Warrick Wellness Trail site:

-The new education site could occupy a sprawling campus with numerous buildings and shared assets designed to provide an attractive and efficient learning environment.
-The 75-acre campus site at Warrick Wellness Trail offers abundant space for surface parking, which costs far less to develop than multi-story parking structures.
-There is already a master plan in place for the area, incorporating extensive green space, a beautiful greenway trail system, and space designated for other future medical-related businesses attracted to the area.
-The community surrounding Warrick Wellness Trail is thriving, expanding, self-sustaining and fiscally stable, making it less susceptible to economic fluctuations.
-The proposed site is located in an existing TIF (Tax Increment Financing) district, simplifying funding for any additional infrastructure.
-Crime rates in the area are extremely low and the area features excellent lighting.
-The site offers the participating colleges and universities space for future growth, as well as acreage for complementary facilities such as restaurants and retail stores, creating a sense of community where faculty, staff, students and volunteers can connect.

"We're eager to respond to the request for proposal that's expected within the next few weeks, because we believe that Warrick Wellness Trail offers the complete package, serving the needs of all of the participating institutions," Taylor adds.

Sources: Inside INdiana Business, Success Warrick County

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