A master plan for the Oklahoma Health Center in Oklahoma City indicates the University of Oklahoma plans to expand one of the state’s largest medical campuses.
If expansion goes according to the plan, there could be as much as $1.48 billion dollars in construction on the campus during the next 15 years.
“If you look at every one of the major cities in America, every one of them has a vibrant medical teaching center complex,” said Dewayne Andrews, the University of Oklahoma’s executive dean of the College of Medicine and vice president for health affairs. “I believe we have an opportunity to become one of the nation’s best.”
The campus now includes the OU Health Sciences Center, OU Medical Center and the Presbyterian Health Foundation Research Park. OU officials anticipate that 4.75 million square feet of space will be added to the park during the next 15 years.
Oklahoma Health Center Foundation executive director Hershel Lamirand said that although some property will need to be acquired in the area near NE 13th St. and Lincoln Blvd., no residential properties should be affected by the expansion.
The plan notes that where possible, empty areas could be filled and older campus structures could be replaced with higher density buildings.
Construction is scheduled to begin this year on the 220,000-square-foot, seven-story OU Cancer Institute, a $120 million project that the university believes will be able to compete with comprehensive cancer centers in other states.
“Many of our patients leave Oklahoma to go to M.D. Anderson (Cancer Center of the University of Texas, Houston) and other places, so that’s why we’re trying to get this here in Oklahoma,” Andrews said.
Plans also are being developed for the Hamm Oklahoma Diabetes Center, with construction set to begin next year.
“Our conception is this center will be as critical to diabetes research and care as a comprehensive cancer center would be,” Andrews said.
As part of the project, planners hope to work with Oklahoma City officials to relieve traffic congestion in the area and seek more exits off Interstate 235.
Information from: The Oklahoman, http://www.newsok.com
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