Western Kentucky University is partnering with Med Center Health to construct a new sports medicine complex on campus.
The new facility, which is projected to cost $22 million to build, will provide space for WKU's Department of Physical Therapy and Med Center Health's new orthopedic sports medicine rehabilitation group.
"This facility will ensure that our partnership with Med Center Health and the University of Kentucky to bring a full four-year medical school to our community will occur on schedule," WKU President Gary Ransdell said of the project in a news release.
"The new building we announce today will free up space for the UK Medical School and allow our Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program to move to our main campus and be joined by Med Center Health’s Orthopaedic/Sports Medicine/Rehabilitation group. It also engages our DPT program with our WKU athletic teams in a new state-of-the-art, year-round multi-purpose facility and will provide a valuable new indoor experience for our campus community and the public through collaboration with the Preston Health and Activities Center."
The complex devotes space for WKU's baseball fieldhouse and an indoor multi-purpose facility including a full-size football field, sprint lanes for tracking and training, netting for baseball, softball and golf, pole vault pits, among other features.
The move was approved WKU's Board of Regents on Friday with six regents approving, four opposing and one abstaining. Construction is expected to begin in January and is totally paid for by Med Center Health.
In return, Med Center Health will become the official healthcare partner of WKU and a preferred provider in the university's health plan for faculty and staff. It will also provide physician and rehabilitation therapy services to WKU athletic teams exclusively and eventually operate the health services clinic on campus, which Grave-Gilbert Clinic currently runs.
"Building on our recent announcement to collaborate with WKU on the opening of a new UK College of Medicine-Bowling Green campus in 2018, this new healthcare and academic affiliation agreement further strengthens the commitment of the two leading education and healthcare service organizations in South Central Kentucky," Med Center Health President and CEO Connie Smith said in the release.