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New Crown Point hospital expected to reach 132 feet

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CROWN POINT — The new Franciscan Health hospital in Crown Point is expected to reach new heights.

The $200 million, state-of-the-art, full-service hospital on the southeast corner of Interstate 65 and U.S. 231 will be a multi-level building, standing more than 100 feet tall. 

Set to open in fall 2023, the new hospital will have 130 rooms and is the centerpiece of the Franciscan Health Crown Point Campus, which includes  expanded medical and education facilities, according to a previous Times report

The hospital's height variance received a unanimous nod from the Crown Point Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA) during a Zoom meeting Monday night. 

Jeff Ban, principal with and president of DVG Team, Inc., said developers were seeking a 140-foot maximum height variance to allow for the future vertical expansion of the hospital. The request exceeds the typical 35-foot maximum height allowed under Crown Point Zoning Code.

"The building is multi level. The ground floor will house most of the public accommodations, as well as the emergency department and imaging, and that is basically done in order to try to make for ease of access for the vast majority of the people that are going to be coming into the building," said Kent Davidson, senior project manager with HOK in Chicago, a design, architecture, engineering and planning firm. 

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The second floor of the hospital includes the surgical department, the intensive care unit and the prep recovery for the surgical department.

The mechanical systems for the building will be on the third floor. 

The first, second and third floors will be 18 feet, floor-to-floor, Davidson said. 

"That is pretty typical because of the needs for the mechanical systems ... for the elements on both of those two floors," Davidson said. 

The fourth, fifth and sixth floors will be 16 feet, floor to floor, Davidson said. 

The fourth floor includes the postpartum, labor, delivery unit. The fifth and sixth floors will be patient and rest and care units. 

Initially, the hospital is expected to reach 107 feet, 4 inches, to the parapet and 116 feet to the top of what will be the initial mechanical penthouse for the main service elevators, Davidson said. 

A one floor vertical expansion is planned for the hospital, he added. 

"It is not currently planned to be part of the initial build-out, but it has been designed to allow a vertical expansion to take place," Davidson said. 

The expansion would increase the building height to 123 feet, 4 inches, to the parapet and 132 feet to the mechanical penthouse. 

"That is really the reason why we're asking for a 140-foot relief variance from the OS-1 requirements on the site," Davidson said, noting the variance allows for "wiggle room, in case there's other issues." 

The hospital also will see a horizontal expansion in the future, creating a new wing to the north from the center, Davidson said. 

Crown Point Planning Administrator Anthony Schlueter said other medical buildings in the campus will have multiple stories.

The BZA applauded developers for a "well-executed" plan for future expansion, and unanimously approved a height variance for all buildings in the campus not to exceed 140 feet.  

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