New Albany News

City Council approves bonds for new health facility


New Albany City Council on Feb. 19 approved two bond issues that would support construction of a community health facility at the southwest corner of Village Hall and Johnstown roads.

The Daimler Group is expected to break ground for the facility this spring.

The 52,000-square-foot health facility will be built on land owned by the New Albany Co. through a partnership with the city of New Albany, the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center and Integrated Wellness Partners.

The Wexner Medical Center is expected to lease 70 percent of the facility for clinical outpatient services, physician offices and rehabilitation services. Integrated Wellness Partners would manage a fitness facility within that space.

The rest of the building could include two community rooms: one for teens and one that could be used by the community for cooking demonstrations or other health-related programming from Healthy New Albany.

The building, parking lot and street improvements are estimated to cost $12.25 million, with Ohio State contributing $500,000 and the city providing $1.5 million, according to City Council's legislative report.

The two ordinances separate the bond debt, with the city issuing $7.6 million in notes for the nonprofit portion of the building and $4.15 million in notes for Integrated Wellness Partners' portion of the building, for a total of $11.75 million.

City Manager Joseph Stefanov said the city's bond counsel recommended separating the debt and issuing more debt than needed.

"We have additional flexibility in the dollar amount, which is more than the cost of the project estimate," Stefanov said. "The $1.5 million from the city will be applied to one or both of the bond issues to reduce one or both."

City spokesman Scott McAfee said the notes will be held for 12 months, until the facility is built and the notes can be converted to 20-year bonds, which is how long Ohio State has agreed to lease its part of the facility.

Stefanov said city officials believe the bonds will not exceed a 4 percent interest rate.