Months After Rejection, Council Oks North Liberty Hospital

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Months after it first rejected an application from the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics to build a $230 million hospital complex in North Liberty, a state council has now approved the plan.

The Health Facilities Council on Tuesday voted 4-1 to allow the health system to build a $230 million hospital complex the system argues it desperately needed to relieve pressure at its other facilities.

The council rejected an nearly identical application in February on a 3-2 vote.

The approval came over the objections of dozens of opponents who said the planned 300,000-square-foot, four-story, 48-bed hospital will run community hospitals in the area out of business, because the health care market in the region is already saturated.

Tuesday’s vote was made without comment after more than seven hours of public comment.

The proposed hospital is now set to join about 12 other major hospitals and surgery centers in the Iowa City-Cedar Rapids region. The project will require additional approval from the Iowa Board of Regents and is hoped to open in 2025.