It's true! They've been big fat lying liars.
A full tip of the hat to the T-P's Bill Barrow for this:
So now that they've admitted that they've been totally bullshitting the public and public officials about the primary benefit to their site selection plan, let us all also finally admit that the whole LSU/VA plan no longer has any real merit whatsoever compared to the RMJM Hillier alternative plan.
Building a new state hospital alongside a planned U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs medical center in lower Mid-City won't produce the initial level of savings once touted by the Louisiana State University System, according to the school's top health officer.
Dr. Fred Cerise said the primary reason is that a lack of clear financing has put LSU behind its original schedule, while federal money is lined up for the Veterans Affairs hospital slated to open in 2012, negating plans for sharing some equipment and facilities.
"We are not at a point of planning these facilities in sync and opening the same day," Cerise said last week. "(VA officials) can't plan on building a hospital that depends on the sharing of critical components."
...Cerise's comments mark the first time LSU has publicly backed away from its previous estimates of more than $400 million in operational savings over 25 years for the two hospitals, which together are slated to cover a 70-acre plot bound by Claiborne Avenue, Tulane Avenue, Rocheblave Street and Canal Street. Galvez Street will divide the two campuses.
As recently as a Jan. 22 legislative hearing in Baton Rouge, Cerise and his boss, LSU System President John Lombardi, cited the $400 million in savings through synergy as one of the advantages of the dual site.
Separate design teams showed sketches of distinctly separate hospitals with no shared infrastructure. There would be two emergency departments, two clinical complexes, no overlapping lab facilities, separate energy plants and parking facilities.
LSU's patient towers fronted Canal Street in both of its designs, while the three VA concepts all fronted Galvez Street, which was a clear divide of the campuses in any combination of the renderings.
That compromise, backed by a diverse coalition of community partners would preserve Lower Mid City, rebuild within the landmark Charity Hospital limestone frame, cost less, and more quickly restore world class medical services to New Orleans.
Let us move forward together. Support the RMJM Hillier compromise. LSU and company will have their precious biomedical development district this way too.