The Ohio State Wexner Medical Center Board of Trustees met Wednesday and discussed future building plans on campus, focusing on the proposed office space replacing Adriatico’s, the University Flower Shop and Huntington Bank at the corner of West 11th and Neil avenues.
They also discussed some of the financial highlights and statements of operations, discussing how the medical center performed from Sept. 30, 2016 to Sept. 30, 2017.
Office space at corner of 11th and Neil Avenue
Senior Vice President of the Office of Administration and Planning Jay Kasey requested $600,000 from the university to pay for an architect to design plans for the office building, which will be an optometry clinic with retail space on the first floor and office space above, replacing Adriatico’s, Huntington Bank and the University Flower Shop at the corner of West 11th and Neil avenues.
The $600,000 architect adds on to the price of the proposed Health Sciences Faculty Office and Optometry Clinic Building that has a budget of $28 million, pending approval by the Board Friday.
According to the project data sheet for the building, $2.8 million goes to the cost of the professional services while the remaining $25.2 million is for construction with contingency. The sheet lists university and auxiliary funds as the two sources of funding for the project.
“We are asking for $600,000 just for this criteria, but we’re also asking because we have a pretty good feel for this building and the cost of the initial work we’ve done, that we’d be allowed to go into construction if the criteria architect comes back and the cost does not exceed the project total cost of $28 million,” Kasey said.
Kasey called it a “relatively simple building,” but said he wants it to fit in with the aesthetic look of the buildings in the surrounding area. He also said the building should be a multi-purpose building with retail shops on the first floor in an effort to generate more revenue for the university. The building will be about 93,000 total square feet.
Board documents said one of the building’s purposes is to be an initial step in creating an Interdisciplinary Health Sciences Center, according to Board documents. However, Kasey said, further plans will be discussed at a later date.
“[The building] will replace what we call the ‘Fry Bridge’, which is the one-story old building that supports optometry, and two wings of the old Starling-Loving building, which needs to be taken down ultimately so that we can bring back the interdisciplinary health sciences complex,” Kasey said.
Statement of Operations
The Board also reviewed the Ohio State health system’s total operating revenue and expenses during the Board Meeting for the year-to-date ending on Sept. 30. The university experienced an actual revenue over expense of $60,710,000. That number represented a $2,727,000 improvement when compared to the projects in the budget.
Under the expenses listed, salaries and benefits composed $312,383,000 of the $628,953,000 total expenditure. Resident and purchased physician services were at $27,237,000 and drugs and pharmaceuticals were $73,520,000.
The largest jump in expenses from the projected budget to the actual cost wound up being the drugs and pharmaceuticals, which were about $3 million more than had been originally allotted.
However, Wexner Medical Center CFO Mark Larmore attributed the increase in drug costs to the rising number in patients taken in by the university. According to the financial highlights, admissions into the hospital were up 4.4 percent from the previous year, a rate he said was one of the largest increases in the nation.
“We continue to see new drugs enter the market and stay on the ecology side, we’re seeing the bulk of that and we overspent on that and that we also have expanded our outpatient pharmacy,” Larmore said.