VOL. 132 | NO. 120 | Friday, June 16, 2017
Ole Miss Buys Baptist Hospital in $22 Million Deal
By Bill Dries
Ole Miss is buying Baptist Memorial Hospital-North Mississippi for $22 million, the university announced Thursday, June 15.
Baptist Memorial Health Care reached the purchase and sale agreement with the University of Mississippi as it builds a new acute care facility that is one of the largest economic development projects ever in Lafayette County.
Baptist has a lease-back option in the agreement announced this week that allows it to remain in the existing hospital at 2301 S. Lamar Blvd. until the new hospital opens in November. The new hospital is located on an extension of Belk Boulevard between South Lamar and Old Taylor Road.
“The purchase of this property allows us to provide improved space for our support units and other functions that serve external constituencies,” said Ole Miss Chancellor Jeffrey Vitter in a written statement. “It will also be a major factor in helping us effectively address our capacity for future growth.”
The site Ole Miss is buying covers 15 acres and includes a 428,000-square-foot building, a 670-space parking garage and additional surface and underground parking.
The purchase agreement goes to the city of Oxford and Lafayette County next. Each has a right of first refusal on the property. The Mississippi Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning approved the agreement Thursday.
“Throughout this process, our top priority was finding a new owner that would use the property for a cause that would benefit our city, and we believe the university is a perfect choice,” said Bill Henning, administrator and CEO of Baptist-North Mississippi. “We look forward to seeing how the university will transform the facility and the positive impact it will have on our community.”