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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (April 6, 2016) — The big makeover for Community Hospital East is now underway.

The network’s redesign project began as a large renovation before hospital leaders announced they wanted to build an entirely new medical facility instead.

Tuesday, demolition crews took the next step towards improving patient care in Indianapolis, by tearing down the first of two buildings on the back of the hospital.

The back is where crews will build the new hospital, which is a $175 million project. The designs include bringing certain departments closer together, plus a bigger emergency room and NICU.

Chief Operating Officer Suzanne Koehler says that will make things a little easier for the families of the sickest babies born there.

“Some of our NICU babies and special care babies have to be transferred out of our facility and so then people have to travel to be with their infant and that’s such an important time for families to be together,” Koehler said.

Once crews finish tearing down the first building, they’ll move on to the one right next to it.

Koehler says then crews will be able to start building the new hospital, which is set to be open by Fall 2018.

After that, the front buildings will be demolished to make an entryway for the new hospital. That’s scheduled to be finished by Christmas 2019.

Operations will continue as usual at the hospital through all the construction.