Schneck Medical Center still needs zoning approval for 80,000-square-foot building


Schneck Medical Center has received a nod of support from the Seymour Plan Commission for its upcoming expansion.

But the Seymour hospital will have to take its plans before the board of zoning appeals before it can begin construction on a five-story, 80,000-square-foot medical office building and parking garage on the hospital’s campus at 411 W. Tipton St.

That’s because the building will exceed the city’s 45-foot height restriction and the property’s existing zoning does not allow for a parking garage.

It’s expected the BZA will conduct a special meeting this month or in early January to vote on the petition, and then it will go back to the plan commission for a final vote.

The addition will attach to the hospital on the northwest side along Tipton Street and will change the facility’s visitor entrance.

The project will support the hospital’s goal of bringing 40 to 50 more health care providers, including physicians, physician assistants and nurse practitioners, to Seymour, said Debbie Mann, Schneck’s vice president of finance and chief financial officer.

Mann said the project is a result of a recent community needs assessment conducted by the hospital that identified access to health care as one of residents’ top concerns.

“Our solution to that is bringing more health care providers to the community,” she said. “In order to be able to do that, we really need to look at our space.”

To start out, the top two floors of the medical building will be built out, and as the hospital attracts and recruits more employees, the remainder of the space will be used, Mann said.

Each floor will have medical exam rooms and conference rooms, and there will be a community room, too.

With the increase in staff and patients, there is a need for more parking, which is being addressed through the parking garage. Once complete, it will be the city’s first such structure.

Schneck employs around 1,050 people, Mann said, making it Jackson County’s largest non-industrial employer.

The garage will accommodate around 400 vehicles and will connect to the new medical office building to allow patients to have direct access instead of having to walk from a parking lot, said architect Rick Rush with ARC Design in Indianapolis.

Cost estimates put the project at more than $44 million, and construction is expected to begin in February and take 13 months to complete with a planned opening in 2019.

Rush said there will be some displacement of parking during construction, but once completed, the expansion will change the face of the hospital along Tipton Street.

The plan commission voted 9-0 to approve the hospital’s development plan for the project. Commissioners Don Bruce and Jeri Wells were absent from Thursday’s meeting.

Commissioner Mike Jordan said the project is a “wonderful opportunity for the community.”

“One of the first things companies look for when they come to Seymour is they want to know about the medical facilities,” Jordan said. “We really appreciate (Schneck’s) investment in the community.”

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