On Thursday, the UMC Board meets at 1 p.m. deep in the bowels of the LSU Medical School complex.
Here’s what our crystal ball shows: the UMC Board’s consultant, Kaufman-Hall, will unveil a “revised” report on the financial feasibility of the proposed UMC complex. And unlike the earlier leaked draft of the Kaufman-Hall report, which said the current $1.2 billion, 424-bed model would be unsustainable…you can pretty much be certain that this new version of the report will tout the wonders of the UMC. In this version of the report, now that the UMC Board has conveniently gone for two months without a meeting, you’ll see the numbers somehow supporting the feasibility of the proposed Megahospital. You can almost smell the sleight of hand.
Will this report somehow constitute the business plan for the UMC? We’re not sure. But we are certain that there is still no UMC business plan at this point.
Go to the meeting on Thursday:And tell the UMC to stop blowing smoke.
And if you’re not at the UMC Board meeting, you can always head on over to the City Council meeting where it’s highly likely that the City Council will be considering the revocation of the streets in the UMC Footprint despite the fact that council member Head iterated at the Public Works "information only" hearing on May 23rd, that the item would probably not come up before the next full Council Meeting or the one after that. [Audio blurb begins at 1:30:28]. While the meeting starts at 10 a.m., council meetings tend to drag on for hours. Check the City Council website calendar on Wednesday.
Tell your city council members: do not revoke the UMC streets! The City should not give up its last bit of leverage over the UMC Footprint. We’ve already seen the VA Hospital destroy the street grid – killing off key thoroughfares like Banks Street. Adding another “superblock” to the mix with the UMC would dramatically distort city traffic patterns.
Plus, as the blog Inside the Footprint noted a few weeks ago, it’s not clear that the State will even follow the terms of the renegotiated CEA that the city fought for to improve design. Specifically, Jerry Jones told a state legislative committee that the state might not even build the second parking garage mandated in the CEA: “We don't think the other parking garage is absolutely necessary."
We haven’t seen any houses moving off the UMC site. Nobody seems to know what’s going to happen with McDonogh No. 11 School. And the Blood Center is still being forced from the site. And there are hundreds of legal suits in progress as we speak.
There’s so much uncertainty clouding the UMC project that the streets should not be revoked!