FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Lutheran Health Network broke ground on their new downtown hospital on Wednesday, July 17th.

Lutheran Health Network CEO Mark Medley, St. Joseph Hospital & Lutheran Downtown Hospital CEO Jake Golich and Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry attended.

Golich started his position less than two weeks from the groundbreaking, and only interview for the position a month and a half ago.

“The biggest thing I remember about the interview was meeting great people who wanted to be part of the change and see new success for here at Lutheran Downtown Hospital in these coming years,” says Golich.

Rendering of Lutheran Health Network Downtown Hospital

Lutheran Downtown Hospital will be about 188,000 square feet and five stories high.  The construction on the new hospital is expected be completed in late 2021, and open to patients in early 2022.

“There’s still a lot the strategic planning that’s still happening for the facility. So over these next few years there will be a lot of the technological and kind of that higher level of care that we’ll be working on,” says Golich.

Lutheran Health Network says the hospital will have 60 inpatient beds, with room to grow to 100 during future expansion and will meet community needs.

Once the new hospital is built, St. Joseph will be torn down. It’s a bittersweet moment for the staff. Especially for Chief of Staff of St. Joseph Hospital, Dr. Andre Stovall. Dr. Stovall grew up in the hospital, since his dad was Chief of Staff 28 years ago.

“I’m going to miss the hospital. A lot of people are going to miss the old building, but a new facility is needed for care going forward,” says Dr. Stovall.

Last week neighbors in the West Central neighborhood expressed their concerns about the building a new hospital. You can read that by clicking here.

West Central Neighborhood Association President Ben Wahli attended the groundbreaking ceremony.

“Last Wednesday, we had the opportunity to meet with four of the members of the West Central Neighborhood Association, great suggestions, great impact that they’re going to have on some of the strategies, as well, working closely with them. Ben was here today, appreciate all their input and we’ll work with them as collaboratively with them as possible over these next few years,” says Golich.