New LaPorte Hospital will be built on present site

The present LaPorte Hospital.

April 20, 2017, press release from LaPorte Hospital:

LaPorte Hospital will be building a new $125 million hospital at its current site in downtown LaPorte, officials announced today. The site selection announcement came after a thorough vetting of more than 20 locations throughout the county over the last year, and included input from building professionals, community leaders, hospital staff, physicians, and board members.

Groundbreaking is expected in early 2018, with a grand opening in 2020.

“LaPorte Hospital staff and physicians are deeply committed to having a thriving community hospital, and we are excited to announce this major step forward. The site selection process was comprehensive, and we are confident that 1007 Lincolnway is the ideal location for us to be able to continue to provide high quality, compassionate acute care to the communities we serve,” said Ashley Dickinson, CEO of LaPorte Hospital.

Dickinson said factors considered in the site evaluation included suitability of land, traffic patterns, ease of access, proximity to the newest EMS station, central accessibility for the communities served by the hospital, visibility, and economic development and vitality.

“As a board, it was important for us to select a site that would best serve our community. We believe this decision marks an important milestone in the future of healthcare for LaPorte, while it also honors the legacy of healthcare innovation that precedes us,” said Mark Kosior, chairman of the LaPorte Hospital Board of Trustees.

Fifty years ago this month, Ben Bortz announced a hospital would be built at 1007 Lincolnway, where the current LaPorte Hospital stands today.

While renderings and full-scale details are still being finalized, Kosior said the community can expect a five-story building of about 200,000 square feet. “The hospital will be designed to accommodate future growth, and will include a medical office building as well,” he said.

The current hospital will continue to operate while the new one is being constructed, and details including renderings and designs will be released as they are finalized.

“Building this new hospital at the current location is significant for downtown LaPorte,” said LaPorte Mayor Blair Milo. “The hospital has long been an anchor for downtown activity, and remains a viable part of our physical and economic health and well being of our community. The City of LaPorte looks forward to working with LaPorte Hospital to see the project to fruition.”

Dickinson said that new hospitals tend to be a positive influence in recruiting new physicians and nurses to a community. “Doctors and nurses want to work in facilities with leading-edge technology and spaces that have been designed to deliver healthcare in innovative ways. We expect to build a hospital that will keep the patient experience top of mind, so we will seek input from staff along the way to ensure workflow meets their needs for delivering safe, quality care,” Dickinson said.

Bert Cook, director of the Greater LaPorte Economic Development Corporation, said the new development will reflect favorably on the economic climate in the county.

“Anytime you can show that new construction and state-of-the-art facilities are part of your downtown landscape, you’re contributing to positive economic growth. We’ll be able to showcase the new hospital as a bright development and look forward to featuring the project as a win for our community in the next two years.”

A special section of the hospital website is dedicated to the hospital construction – newlaportehospital.com – and will feature construction updates, facts and figures, and frequently asked questions, including a place for community members to submit questions.

(Posted on that site are these details about the planned facility:)

  • We are planning a $125 million facility
  • We expect it to be five stories, about 200,000 square feet
  • The hospital will be designed to accommodate future growth
  • The new hospital site will include a Medical Office Building
  • We will continue to operate our current hospital as we build the new one

A late-1960s photo of the hospital site before the present facility was built. The site at Lincolnway and Madison was once the site of LaPorte’s Allis-Chalmers plant. (Photo provided)

WNLP editor’s note: The hospital’s owner is Tennessee-based Community Health Systems. It was reportedly looking to sell LaPorte Hospital in late 2016 just months after it had acquired it. 

14 Responses to “New LaPorte Hospital will be built on present site”

  1. sue

    Apr 20. 2017

    dont remember chalmers on that corner

    Reply to this comment
    • Staff

      Apr 20. 2017

      It was located at Lincolnway and Madison from the 1930s to 1950s, then built and moved to the larger plant off Pine Lake Avenue (now NewPorte Landing site).

      Reply to this comment
    • Papadoc

      Apr 21. 2017

      Sure was, with a walkway bridge over Madison st.

      Reply to this comment
  2. Steve

    Apr 20. 2017

    I remember the Enclosed Overhead Walk-way in that area.

    Reply to this comment
  3. Linda

    Apr 20. 2017

    Hope there will be a parking garage

    Reply to this comment
  4. Barbara Backer

    Apr 20. 2017

    This is very good news.

    Reply to this comment
  5. Wondering

    Apr 20. 2017

    Trying to get my bearings in this picture. Where is the Courthouse?

    Reply to this comment
    • Staff

      Apr 20. 2017

      Assuming you mean the vintage photo: That’s Madison Street shown, with the later Allis-Chalmers plant (top right) to the north. Washington Street and lumber yard (now Big C) top left background. So the courthouse would be about a block to the right (east).

      Reply to this comment
      • Wondering

        Apr 21. 2017

        Thank you. So basically looking north from about where Danny’s Fireworks is located today (2017) I was confusing Madison Street (shown) for Lincolnway.

        Reply to this comment
      • Rich

        Apr 21. 2017

        I believe the Allis Chalmers office was located on this corner of Lincoln Way and Madison. (south west corner).

        Reply to this comment
  6. Susan

    Apr 21. 2017

    So happy they will build in the same site.

    Reply to this comment
  7. Ed

    Apr 21. 2017

    Parking??? Sick of getting parking tickets when visiting sick people. Enogh stress already and then a stupid parking ticket? Needs a larger site with parking or a lower level parking garage.

    Reply to this comment
  8. Big Al

    Apr 22. 2017

    How can CHS build a new Hospital when they are going bankrupt, or did I miss something. From what I’ve seen this organization is in trouble and not trustworthy. People beware and watch and listen and maybe talk to some of the employees that have lost their jobs.

    Reply to this comment
    • Sylvan

      Apr 24. 2017

      Big Al… check your sources. You missed something.

      CHS might change their publicly traded status (temporarily) but this is not uncommon for large healthcare organizations.
      Not sure what you’re basing your claim of “not trustworthy” on but this is the same company that heard the community’s appeal to keep the hospital downtown & responded appropriately.

      The CHS buy-out is great for the hospital and the community it serves. I believe there are some growing pains due to changes that are long overdue

      Reply to this comment

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