Friday, April 26, 2013

[445] MTSU to purchase former Middle Tennessee Medical Center site

News and Media Relations contact: Andrew Oppmann, 615-494-7800 or
Second MTSU contact: Jimmy Hart, 615-898-5131 or
MTMC contact: Amanda Maynord Anderson, 615-284-1628 or

MURFREESBORO — MTSU announced Friday (April 19) that it will purchase the former Middle Tennessee Medical Center site near downtown Murfreesboro.

The university will pay $11.1 million for the 17.4-acre site, which includes:

  • The 115,000-square-foot Bell Street Building;
  • A 143,000-square-foot parking garage with 407 parking spaces;
  • Surface parking with 188 spaces;
  • A large green-space area that was the site of the old main hospital building (surrounded by East Bell Street; North Highland Avenue; East Lytle Street; and North University Street.)

MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee and Gordon Ferguson, president and CEO of Middle Tennessee Medical Center, marked the pending change of ownership in a ceremony at the Bell Street Building, attended by administrators from both institutions and community leaders.

“For nearly 85 years, our two campuses anchored the east side of Murfreesboro and served for much of that time as two of largest employers in our community,” McPhee said. “But we shared much more than proximity and size – our two organizations also share many common values.

Today’s ceremony marks the next step in that relationship and underscores the importance we place on serving the needs of our students and the community.”

MTMC has been looking for a buyer for its old hospital site since its move into a $267 million state-of-the-art medical campus in October 2010. Its 70-acre site on Medical Center Parkway is more than four times larger than its old location, which was where the hospital was established in 1927.

“We continued a legacy of innovation and advancement at our Bell Street location, serving the community with outstanding medical care,” Ferguson said. “With the sale of this land, we pass along that legacy to our partner MTSU as they now grow and create new opportunities for our community.”

McPhee said the university will use the Bell Street Building for academic purposes. However, he said final decisions on which units and operations will occupy the space have yet to be determined.
“Once we acquire the property, we will determine the best and most appropriate use for the facility,” McPhee said. “It will be used for academic purposes and, while we are considering several options, we have yet to make a final decision on what would be best at that location.”

University spokesman Andrew Oppmann said the Bell Street Building will require some renovations to change its usage from medical to academic.

“We will need to determine what work needs to be done and how long that work will take – all of which will factor into our decisions on how the facility will be used,” he said.

Oppmann said the university currently has no plans for the old hospital lot and that area will remain open green space for the foreseeable future.

McPhee said the university will be “good stewards of this facility and good neighbors to our community and use it to better serve our students and the people of Murfreesboro and Rutherford County.”

“We are extremely proud to have worked with Gordon and his staff, Lee (Moss, chairman of the MTMC Board of Directors) and the hospital board and the entire Saint Thomas Health Services family to make this a reality,” McPhee said.

About MTSU

Founded in 1911 as one of three state normal schools for teacher training, MTSU is now the oldest and largest public university in Middle Tennessee. With an enrollment of more than 25,000 students, MTSU is the largest undergraduate university in Tennessee.

MTSU remains committed to providing individualized service in an exciting and nurturing atmosphere where student success is the top priority. With a wide variety of nationally recognized academic degree programs at the baccalaureate, master's and doctoral levels, MTSU takes pride in educating the best and the brightest students from Tennessee and around the world.

About Middle Tennessee Medical Center
Middle Tennessee Medical Center (MTMC) is a member of Saint Thomas Health, Middle Tennessee’s faith-based, not-for-profit health care system with more than 6,500 associates. Saint Thomas Health is focused on transforming the health care experience and helping people live healthier lives, with special attention to the poor and vulnerable. The regional health system includes — Baptist Hospital, Saint Thomas Hospital and The Hospital for Spinal Surgery in Nashville, Middle Tennessee Medical Center in Murfreesboro and Hickman Community Hospital in Centerville — and a comprehensive network of affiliated joint ventures, medical practices, clinics and rehabilitation facilities. Saint Thomas Health is a member of Ascension Health, a Catholic organization that is the largest not-for-profit health system in the United States For more information, visit or

            MTSU is committed to developing a community devoted to learning, growth, and service. We hold these values dear, and there’s a simple phrase that conveys them:  “I am True Blue.” Learn more at For MTSU news anytime, visit

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