IU Health Bloomington Hospital officials say the decision on whether to relocate the facility will be decided by the end of the calendar year. IU Health Bloomington Hospital purchased land halfway between Ellettsville and Bloomington, said Tom Micuda, City Planning Director.
The 600 acres of land known as North Park doesn’t have much development. “Bloomington Hospital purchased land outside of the city boundaries in Monroe County about 85 acres and they did so approximately 7-8 years ago,” said Micuda.
The hospital’s current location measures about 70 acres, with the hospital occupying about 30. “The purchase was described as Bloomington Hospital’s specialty services, but it still raised a red flag, because it was such a large land purchase,” said Micuda.
Bloomington Mayor Mark Kruzan and other city officials have worried about the hospital relocating to North Park, but IU Health Bloomington Hospital CEO Mark Moore says even with about 40% of its clientele from outside Monroe County, a decision on whether to move hasn’t been made yet.
“We are trying to consider all of the different factors and access the needs for our population, where physicians are located, traffic patterns, and parking,” said Moore. “We know our long term needs in terms of facility replacement or upgrades and a variety of different things need to be addressed.”
Micuda estimates the project would take about five years to complete if the hospital did move. The city’s concerns include the loss of property taxes from surrounding businesses if the hospital relocates, decreased spending in the downtown area and nearby building abandonment.
Moore says the hospital’s Board of Directors will make a decision by the end of the year.