March 6, 2015
Senator Kirk Watson moderated a half-day community forum today, providing the public with information about and a forum to ask questions regarding possible plans for repurposing Central Health’s Brackenridge Campus.
Central Health is developing a comprehensive redevelopment plan for the campus, which includes University Medical Center Brackenridge as well as the 14.3 acres of land on which it’s constructed. Central Health was deeded by the City of Austin in 2005 when the hospital district was created and has since leased UMCB to Seton, who operates the hospital. In 2017, hospital operations at University Medical Center Brackenridge will relocate to the new Dell Seton Medical Center at The University of Texas at Austin.
“By redeveloping its downtown campus, Central Health has a wonderful opportunity to further its health care mission while also injecting new life into a previously underutilized part of town. Maximizing the value and use of this land will support Central Health’s integrated delivery system, which is providing high-quality, coordinated health care to those who need it most. And we can build a place where people will truly live, work, play, innovate, study and become healthier,” Senator Kirk Watson said.
Central Health began the process to redevelop the property in 2014, first developing a set of guiding principles, which were adopted by the Board of Managers. These principles – Mission, Stewardship, and Partnership – have served to focus the project on deriving the most benefit for the community we serve. Central Health is working to incorporate extensive community input into this process through surveys, presentations and community-wide events like the one held today.
“It’s critical that our strategy for the Brackenridge Campus serve the best interest of the public, which is why we’ve worked at every turn to keep our community informed and to ensure the opportunity for widespread and active participation. It’s our hope the redeveloped Brackenridge Campus will continue to serve the safety net health care needs of the residents of Travis County like it has for so many years,” Patricia A. Young Brown, Central Health President & CEO, said.
Central Health and Gensler Austin, the architectural firm chosen to lead the master planning process, are considering how Central Health can collaborate with nearby projects such as the Waller Creek Conservancy efforts and with nearby neighborhoods. Todd Runkle, Managing Director at Gensler Austin, and Jim Adams, Principle at McCann Adams Studio, presented various conceptual pieces demonstrating how the project could be home to a variety of health care services, while still serving as a green, walkable, and open environment for the community.
“We have an opportunity to create a vibrant and vital hub in the City of Austin that will focus on healthcare, education and research. The Brackenridge Campus will be planned and designed to foster innovation, cultivate talent and provide essential services for the community. Working with our partners at The University of Texas, Seton, and the State of Texas, we will build on our collective strengths to make Austin a global leader in education, healthcare and life sciences. We look forward to working together with the local community to create a healthy campus with strong planning principals and environmentally sensitive architecture to bring the new Brackenridge Campus vision to reality!” Todd Runkle, Gensler Austin Principal/Managing Director, said.