The new LaPorte Hospital is going to be six stories high with large, high-performance windows to provide natural lighting and reflect the color of natural surroundings.
A rendering of the $125 million hospital that might start going up in the summer could undergo some minor changes before the final design is complete. The rendering was approved Wednesday by the hospital's board of trustees.
The design team is now focused on determining what services will be provided on each of the floors, said Ashley Dickinson, the hospital’s CEO.
"Seeing what it will look like from the outside is extremely exciting and reminds us that even with all the work ahead, we are building something incredible for our community," Dickinson said.
Final bed count and room size in the 200,000-square-foot building will be determined in the coming weeks.
According to hospital officials, the low-e glass windows throughout the facility will minimize the amount of ultraviolent and infrared light allowed inside while maximizing daylight in patient care areas.
The blues and greens reflected off the glass will be a symbol of LaPorte as a community rich with inland lakes and dune grasses.
The steel to be used in the frame will come from Region mills, hospital officials said.
Hospital spokesperson Stacey Kellogg said the exact location of the hospital has been narrowed to two undisclosed locations within the 20 acres of hospital-owned property around the existing seven-story hospital at 1007 Lincolnway that opened in 1972.
An old house used by the hospital for storage at Lincolnway and Tyler Street was torn down last week, but Kellogg said that is not an indication of where the hospital is going to go up.
"That was earmarked for being taken down sometime last year, but we don’t know if that will end up being part of the hospital footprint," Kellogg said.
Dickinson said the new hospital, expected to open in 2020, will have roughly 20 percent less square footage than the current hospital.
However, Dickinson said it will be a full-service acute-care community hospital offering the inpatient and outpatient services presently offered and others, along with the ancillary support services in those areas.
The new facility is also being designed to allow for future expansion.
Dickinson said the current building will be torn down if some other use for it doesn’t surface.