CHICAGO — Ohio State University’s board of trustees this week approved a $1 billion expansion plan of the school’s medical center campus that will rely on $925 million of new-money bonds.
School officials said the expansion, dubbed ProjectOne, will be the largest job-generating initiative in the state, creating up to 10,000 new, full-time jobs and 5,000 construction jobs.
It will be the largest project ever for OSU Medical Center, which is located in Columbus. The plan features a tower building that will house a new 276-bed hospital and a new 144-bed critical care building, as well as related research and education spaces.
The university plans to issue the bonds next year, said Al Rodack, senior vice president of finance for OSU. The current plan is to issue general receipt bonds backed by a pledge of the school’s full faith and credit. OSU’s revenue totaled more than $2.5 billion in fiscal 2007.
Officials plan to conduct a search over the next months to select a finance team to work on the transaction, Rodack said in an e-mail. Historically the school has issued a mix of fixed- and variable-rate bonds, though the mix of upcoming bonds is still undecided. The bonds will be sold in several series, Rodack said.
The debt issuance would nearly double OSU’s current debt portfolio, which totals roughly $1 billion. About 35% of that is floating rate.
The new medical site is expected to bring in an additional $1.7 billion to the central Ohio economy by increasing demand for local services, such as schools, police, and fire, OSU officials said.
Columbus Mayor Michael Coleman praised the project, saying it would boost the local economy while “keeping us on the cutting edge of science, technology, and medical research.”
Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland also commended OSU for its “visionary leadership.”
“I believe this substantial investment will help spur even more opportunities for growth in this critical industry across the state,” the governor said in a statement. “I believe that the long-term impacts of this investment will stretch beyond central Ohio and the borders of our state as we continue to build on our role as a leader in health care innovation and research across the country and globe.”