Our Process

Hopewell began as a small, neighborly conversation in a living room, in May 2019. Present were a handful of people concerned about recent events related to redevelopment of the hospital site.

We chose the name “Hopewell” to honor the original Hopewell House, which was purchased in 1905 by the Local Women’s Council, becoming Bloomington’s first hospital.  Many meetings later (see the Timeline page for details), in January 2020 Hopewell enlisted Rhonda Baird of Sheltering Hills Design LLC to facilitate a three-meeting series to help refine our goals and build consensus within the group. We created an online survey, and invited the Bloomington community to share their thoughts on the hospital site redevelopment. We received 70 responses; after reviewing the results, the group sorted the most-common responses into five themes, in order of priority:

Community Connectivity and a Sense of Place
– Connecting McDoel and Prospect Hill Neighborhoods
– Connecting the city corridor: Downtown, Kroger, Switchyard Park
– Honoring the place the Hospital is: a place of healing
– Recognizing the topography and neighborhood feel
– Use of art and art spaces, as well as healing spaces

Green Spaces and Sustainability
– Community-centered green spaces 
– Recycling and reusing what is possible from the current plan
– Developing self-sustaining energy (solar, wind, etc.), water resources
– Green places to gather (food growing)
– Healthy buildings

Transportation Design (People-centered Design)
– Cars to a minimum and on the outside of the spaces
– Walking and biking prioritized

Housing Diversity and Density 
– Space dedicated to affordable housing (possibly through land trust)
– Encourage condos/single family residences with access to green-space

Commercial Retail/Mixed Use Space in Balance
– Green-space is given high priority
– Commercial space is locally-focused
– Residential space is mixed, and medium-density

Additionally, innovation in design was a common request in survey responses. Another observation was a strong desire for vitality: whatever it is, it should be well-used, loved, and energetic.

With these priorities in mind, Hopewell selected a core planning team to advocate for our interests in redevelopment of the hospital site.