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Out With The Old: Groundbreaking For Education Building Signals Step From Past For Health Sciences Center

May 21, 2003 — The University of Utah Health Sciences Center breaks ground May 22 on a $40 million Health Sciences Education Building, replacing teaching facilities dating to the early 1950s. The 150,000-square-foot facility will become the Us center for health-professions education.

The groundbreaking starts at 1:30 p.m. east of the College of Nursing at the south end of the Health Sciences Center.

Program participants include University of Utah President J. Bernie Machen; A. Lorris Betz, M.D., Ph.D., U senior vice president for health sciences and dean of the medical school; Governor Michael O. Leavitt; and two medical students who participated in the buildings core steering committee.

During its 2002 session, the Utah Legislature approved $33 million in state funding for the teaching facility. The remaining $7 million will primarily be funded by private donors, which also will include money from U Hospitals & Clinics for hospital training.

Growth in academic programs, combined with health and safety concerns of aging buildings, created the need for a safe, state-of-the-art educational environment for students, faculty, and staff.

“Medicine, nursing, pharmacy and other health disciplines will share this facility in education, reflecting the team setting students will experience in caring for patients,” Betz said.

“We appreciate the foresight of our legislature in investing in this needed facility to support the training of hundreds of our states future health-care providers.”

The Health Science Education Building will be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week and will include 27 classrooms, teaching and clinical laboratories, exam rooms, lounges, student support areas, copy services, café, and the health sciences bookstore.

All educational buildings on the health sciences campus are of the 1950s-1960’s era: the current Medical Education building, was completed in 1951; the School of Medicine in 1965; the College of Pharmacy in 1967; and the College of Nursing in 1969.

The new building, designed by Valentiner Crane Brunjes Onyon Architecture, will be built by Big D Construction and is expected to be completed in May 2005.