A once bustling basketball, live music and commencement venue in Central Austin is being demolished to make way for two new hospital systems.

What’s happening?

The Frank Erwin Center will be torn down and replaced by The University of Texas at Austin Medical Center, consisting of a UT Austin hospital and University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, according to an Aug. 14 news release from the UT board of regents.

Per the release, demolition of the Erwin Center—which is owned by the university—is expected to be completed by fall 2024, with both hospitals breaking ground by 2026.

Diving in deeper

The board of regents voted May 4 to demolish the Erwin Center for $25 million, as previously reported by Community Impact. While the center officially closed in May 2022, a demolition start date has not been released.

The August news release states that the total investment for both hospitals is estimated at $2.5 billion. In addition:
  • Both projects will be funded by the UT System, UT Austin, MD Anderson and other donors and partners.
  • The UT Austin hospital will be built and operated by the university, while the cancer center will be built and operated by MD Anderson.
  • The hospitals will be constructed adjacent to each other and located near the Dell Medical School.
  • The cancer center will be staffed by MD Anderson physicians.
In a statement with the university, Gov. Greg Abbott said that MD Anderson is ranked No. 1 for cancer care in the country, and that the collaboration with UT is the “key to building sustainable communities.”

“Rather than having Texans travel to MD Anderson in Houston, we will now bring the world’s best treatment to them,” Abbott said. “Families across Central Texas who are affected by cancer every year can now stay close to home for that care.”