Carle applies to open sports medicine facility in Research Park

By Andrew Nowak

A proposed $23.1 million sports medicine and orthopedics facility by Carle Foundation may offer new benefits for student-athletes and students studying sports science and medical care. 

Carle has applied to the Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board for an Orthopedics and Sports Medicine facility and will address the board later this spring.

The 52,000 square-foot facility would be located in Research Park, bordering First and Fourth streets and sitting south of Gerty Drive and north of West Windsor Road. 

The central location of the facility is ideal for the sports medicine staff since they travel to support local schools and events, Caleb Miller, vice president of surgical services at Carle, said in an email. 

“Carle Orthopedics is proud to partner with the University of Illinois (Division) of Intercollegiate Athletics for the medical treatment of their athletes,” Miller wrote. “And the facility allows us to provide a convenient location when they need care.”

Miller also said Carle currently provides educational opportunities to University students and they will look at future opportunities as they move forward with this project. 

The facility will feature a 32,800 square-foot clinical area, which will include 66 exam rooms, a therapy gym and sports enhancement training and offices, Mark Schultz, public relations specialist for Carle, said in an email. 

Schultz said there is an increasing number of people with needs for orthopedic services in the Champaign-Urbana area. In 2014, Carle saw a 9.9 percent increase in exams relating to orthopedics and sports medicine. To meet the rising demand, Carle is currently recruiting orthopedic specialists to address the demand they are seeing for specialized orthopedic care, including treatment such as arthroscopic procedures and joint replacement. 

Carle’s current facilities for orthopedics weren’t originally designed to function as orthopedic practices. Orthopedic services for upper extremity, hip, knee, foot and ankle care are located in the Mattis facility and the sports medicine care is located at the Carle North Annex, just north of Interstate 74. 

This new facility would allow the orthopedic practice to be united under one roof and Carle believes it will enhance patient care. The facility would also allow for the additional space needed for patients in wheelchairs or who are using crutches or walkers.

University spokeswoman Robin Kaler said the University could not comment on pending real-estate transactions. Laura Frerichs, Research Park Director, and Paul Schmidt, director of sports medicine for the Fighting Illini, were also unable to comment.          

According to Carle’s application, the estimated project completion date would be January 31, 2017. 

Andrew can be reached at [email protected]