Officials have broken ground on what Bloomington Mayor John Hamilton calls the largest single economic development investment in the city's history. The $389 million Indiana University Health Regional Academic Center will include a new Indiana University Health Bloomington Hospital and IU's health sciences and other related academic and research facilities. IU President Michael McRobbie says the center will usher in "a completely new era" for health care, research and collaboration in the region and beyond.

During the groundbreaking ceremony Tuesday morning, McRobbie said the center will serve as an economic engine and help address the growing shortage of health care providers. "Indiana University and IU Health are -- when taken together -- Indiana's largest employer." McRobbie added "we expect to increase the number of medical and nursing students by over 50 percent in coming years." IU part of the facility, the Academic Health Sciences building, is expected to house around 100 faculty and staff members, training some 1,000 students.

IU Health Chief Executive Officer Dennis Murphy calls the 735,000 square-foot development a "catalyst for a transformational model of care here within IU Health." He continued "it will be a model of care that integrates importantly learning, research and interprofessional collaboration in order to provide evidence-based, cutting-edge care that is also compassionate, holistic and designed intentionally and specifically for each and every individual patient we serve.

The project is expected to be complete in 2020. Part of the funding for the Academic Health Sciences building, McRobbie revealed Tuesday, will come from IU's share of revenue from the Big Ten Network. "This is truly Hoosier athletics giving back to the people of Bloomington and the region for nearly 200 years," he said. The university says the total funding from the network is not yet clear, but the facility will cost $45 million.

You can connect to more about the scope of the project and its components by clicking here.