The Indiana University Board of Trustees has approved final site plans and the exterior design for the proposed Regional Academic Health Center in Bloomington. The 735,000 square-foot complex will house the new IU Health Bloomington hospital as well as an academic facility.

An estimated cost for the project has not been released. The university says the board's approval is just one of many steps in the long process of developing a facility of this size. IU says more than 500 physicians, team members, educators and patients took part in the design-planning sessions.

"The design was truly inspired by the caregivers, patients, faculty and students who will use the space," said Matt Bailey, president of IU Health South Central Region. "This is an incredible investment in our community, and we wanted to get it right."

The complex will include the five-story, 620,000 square-foot hospital which will provide inpatient and outpatient services. IU says the hospital's goal is to improve the patient experience through greater patient privacy, healing gardens and walking trails, among other amenities. 

The 115,000 square-foot academic facility will be used for health sciences education and research at IU. The university says the entire complex will "provide a unique and innovation-drive environment in which IU and IU Health can partner to teach future generations of health care professionals."

Plans for the Regional Academic Health Center were announced in April 2015. At that time, IU President Michael McRobbie said the complex would be "the most comprehensive academic health campus in the state outside of Indianapolis."

You can learn more about the complex by clicking here.