An 18-story hotel in New Orleans that never reopened after Hurricane Katrina in 2005 will be imploded next month to make way for Louisiana State University’s new academic hospital.

Construction of the $1.1 billion University Medical Center will require the demolition of the 1,032-room Grand Palace Hotel in New Orleans’ Uptown area, scheduled for Nov. 20.

The State Facilities Office set the controlled blast for a Sunday when the nearby Louisiana Superdome is vacant, because the implosion will require the closure of Interstate 10 as well as several streets in the area.

State facilities director Jerry Jones told the University Medical Center Management Corp. last week that the project is on schedule for completion in early 2015.

Cleaning up demolition debris from the razed hotel’s 34-acre site will be completed in February 2012, according to Jones.

The original financing for the 424-bed teaching hospital included $407 million of revenue bonds, but the debt was not included in a revised plan adopted in September.

The current financial plan calls for the private LSU Health Sciences Center Foundation to issue $132 million of tax-free bonds that would finance construction of a rehabilitation facility and parking garage.

LSU said it has not yet developed construction or lease agreements with the foundation.

The new hospital will replace flood-damaged old Charity Hospital.

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