Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Mayor Gains Support for Downtown Facility ; Two Council Members Say They'll Back His Plan for IU's Medical Center

Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Mayor Gains Support for Downtown Facility ; Two Council Members Say They'll Back His Plan for IU's Medical Center

Article excerpt

Two Evansville City Council leaders say they'll work with Mayor Lloyd Winnecke to build Downtown's case that the Indiana University's expanded medical school facility should be located there. IU is partnering with local higher education institutions and hospitals on the medical education center. Similar facilities have been built in other Indiana cities. IU very soon is expected to formally request proposals from local sites wanting the development.

In addition to Downtown, the Promenade development off Burkhardt Road, within the city limits; a Warrick County location near Deaconess Gateway Hospital; and the University of Southern Indiana west of the city limits have indicated interest in being the site for the facility.

The IU School of Medicine-Evansville, which now offers two years of study, is currently part of a USI classroom building. The expanded local program will offer four years of study, in addition to residency opportunities at four local hospitals.

City Council Vice President Dan Adams, D-At-large, and Finance Chairman John Friend, D-5th Ward, said Downtown's proposal to the IU Board of Trustees will use Tax Increment Financing as part of the local incentives.

State and private funding also are expected to be part of the project, which could cost up to $50 million. The Indiana General Assembly in 2015 will consider the state's next two-year budget.

Friend said the medical school's presence Downtown would have positive ripple effects there, and "land values would double overnight. Access to capital just explodes."

Those promoting Evansville's East Side and Warrick County for the medical school note an abundance of undeveloped land at those sites. Adams, a retired physician and adjunct instructor in the IU School of Medicine-Evansville, said Downtown also will have ample space.

"(Downtown) is not landlocked," Adams said. …

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