OSU Academic Medical District expanding downtown Tulsa footprint

TULSA, Okla. — The Oklahoma State University (OSU) Center for Health Sciences is moving forward with plans to expand their medical district in the heart of downtown Tulsa.

FOX23 got a sneak peak Thursday of the interior demolition work that’s under way inside the 275,000 square-foot building that will be home to the new VA hospital in downtown Tulsa.

Expansion plans in the OSU Academic Medical District also call for the construction of a psychiatric hospital and a new parking garage.

There’s already a lot of work taking place inside the massive Kerr-Edmondson building in downtown Tulsa, the future home of the VA hospital.

On Thursday, FOX23 was allowed up onto the third floor where crews were busy demolishing concrete block walls. We were told the floor will eventually house a surgery unit.

This is just Phase I according to project manager Tim Edmondson.

The building located in the OSU Academic Medical District will undergo a complete renovation in December.

The Veterans Hospital is a public private partnership with $151 million in funding from the federal government and an expected $20 million in private funding.

It’s being developed by a non-profit entity created by The Anne and Henry Zarrow Foundation, which also approached OSU about the need for a psychiatric hospital.

“We approached several folks saying would you be interested in partnering to help us work on getting that for the city of Tulsa and OSU said ‘we will, let us see how we can help.’” said Courtney Knoblock, Program Director for The Anne and Henry Zarrow Foundation.

Knoblock said OSU is developing the psychiatric hospital which will be located right next to the VA Hospital on an 11.5 acre parcel of land donated by the state.

Construction on the new Oklahoma Psychiatric Care Center is expected to get underway in the spring.

Johnny Stephens, president of the OSU Center for Health Sciences said the growth of their medical district will also result in the expansion of residency training and clinical training for students. But he’s most excited about what this means for patients.

“At the core of this is helping veterans, helping our most vulnerable mental health patients with facilities that are up to community standards and something we can all be proud of,” Stephens said.

The OSU Center for Health Sciences has also recently been awarded $50 million in American Rescue Plan Act funding to add biomedical research labs.

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