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BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – IU Health and Bloomington officials are working together to make sure the Bloomington Hospital doesn’t become a liability for the city.

IU Health plans to break ground on its new Regional Academic Health Center in two weeks and once that construction is complete the group will transfer all it services over from Bloomington Hospital.

When that happens, IU Health plans to sell the site of the old hospital for $6.5 million to the city. The land is appraised at $16 million. IU Health also plans to spend at least $7 million to demolish the old hospital.

“This is a great opportunity for the city,” Mayor John Hamilton, D-Bloomington, said. “I view this as IU Health giving back to the community. They have been here a long time. They are making a huge investment and they are also saying, ‘we want this legacy to be very positive.”

The Bloomington Hospital sits on 24 acres and is relatively in the heart of the city.

In the upcoming months, Mayor Hamilton plans to create a redevelopment commission to study the future possibilities for the land.

“It’s a new hub in the heart of downtown to think about creating a lot of opportunities,” he said. “It almost may certainly be a mix of many things; housing, retail, commercial.”

IU Health President of South Central Region Matt Bailey said it was very important to the company that the Bloomington Hospital didn’t become a vacant building. 

“There’s clearly been examples where we have had abandoned hospitals and it has created an environmental hazard and liability for the community to deal with and we just don’t feel that would be the responsible thing to do,” Bailey said.

IU Health plans to open the Regional Academic Medical Center in late 2020 and demolish the Bloomington Hospital once all the services have been transferred to the new facility.