LAFAYETTE - Franciscan Alliance will pump major money into three Franciscan St. Elizabeth Health facilities. The health provider has announced an $85 million investment into its Lafayette, Crawfordsville and Rensselaer campuses. Chief Executive Officer Terry Wilson says growing demand has made the upgrades necessary. The expansion will include a new patient tower in Lafayette, a new location for the St. Elizabeth School of Nursing and technology upgrades at the Crawfordsville and Rensselaer facilities.

The three-story patient tower on the Lafayette East campus will include more than 50 new patient beds. The tower will house several services, including inpatient surgery, rehabilitation and endoscopy. Construction is expected to begin this summer and wrap up in 2018. Other projects in Lafayette include a larger surgery waiting room, expanded operating room and a new MRI system. Franciscan says the waiting room will be complete in August, and the operating room will be finished in September.

As part of the project, the Lafayette Central campus will become the home of the St. Elizabeth School of Nursing. Classes are set to move to the main hospital building in time for the fall 2017 semesters. Franciscan says the facility will provide students with a state-of-the-art learning environment in a hospital setting. The Kathryn Weil Center for Education will also eventually relocate into the main hospital building.

Franciscan St. Elizabeth Health in Crawfordsville will build a new emergency department, expected to be complete in April 2017. The $15 million project is currently in the design phase. Roanoke, Indiana-based Bona Vita Architecture is leading that effort. In Rensselaer, Franciscan will install two new digital radiology suites. Franciscan Health Rensselaer joined the network in September.

Wilson says he is grateful for Franciscan Alliance's commitment to improving care by funding the projects.