Groundbreaking ceremonies for the Health Sciences Building (HSB) on the University of Cincinnati (UC) medical campus and a celebration of the Medical Campus Master Plan were held Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2017.
"We celebrate not only the building of a new structure that will house the College of Allied Health Sciences, but a master plan that looks into the future and adapts to the rapidly changing health disciplines, said UC President Neville Pinto. "With these transformative changes you have paved the way to nurture the passions of our students and faculty together in an environment that stimulates and supports collaborative learning.
The four-story HSB is the latest project in the Medical Campus Master Plan, which is a $480 million phased project that includes both new construction and renovation of existing Academic Health Center buildings. The first phase, which included the CARE/Crawley Building, was completed in 2008. Subsequent phases include renovations to Procter Hall, Kettering Lab Complex and the Medical Sciences Building.
"Our goal is not to simply put up a structure to house classrooms and laboratories, said UC Interim Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost Peter Landgren. "Our goal is to create learning spaces and an environment that will ensure our students can thrive.
To make way for the HSB, Wherry Hall, the former home of the James L. Winkle College of Pharmacy, is in the process of being demolished. Wherry Hall opened in 1959, named for William Wherry, MD, a College of Medicine pathology faculty member from 1909 until his death in 1936.
"The Medical Campus Master Plan has been an effort of nearly the last 20 years to upgrade this campus and support interprofessional, collaborative education of the four health colleges, said William Ball, MD, senior vice president for health affairs, Christian R. Holmes Professor and Dean of the College of Medicine. "These are facilities that will help us advance research within the entire University; currently the Academic Health Center supports about 75 percent of research within UC.
The HSB is scheduled to be completed in winter 2019, just in time to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the College of Allied Health Sciences (CAHS). The 117,000 square feet in HSB is a 50 percent increase from what CAHS currently occupies in French East.
""We are interdisciplinary by design and very committed to collaborative work not only within our college but across the other three colleges in the Academic Health Center, said Tina Whalen, EdD, dean of CAHS. "Our significant enrollment growth has created this need for additional teaching and research space, and this new building will add 56 new classrooms.
The Medical Campus Master Plan celebration was held in the 214-seat auditorium in Kowalewski Hall, a space that had been used for storage for years before its recent renovation.
"These changes allow our students to have access to cutting-edge facilities, great learning environments and is a space they can be proud to call home, said Neil MacKinnon, PhD, dean of the James L. Winkle College of Pharmacy. "Weve moved many of our researchers into newly renovated spaces in the Medical Sciences Building, and that was done in part to increase collaboration across colleges and weve already seen some of that effort come to fruition."
Procter Hall, home to the UC College of Nursing has seen renovations inside and out over the past five years. Just last month, the college dedicated its new UC Health iCoN Innovation space.
"The innovative space eliminates the previous office silos, encourages collaboration and enables multi-disciplinary team work, said Matt Rota, director, Center for Academic Technology, Education Resources and Instructional Design for the College of Nursing. "It helps faculty and staff find ways to work together differently and reflects the core values, strategic priorities and norms of the College of Nursing.
The positioning of HSB will create a nearly 1.5-acre green space in front of the building, featuring newly planted trees and shrubs creating a natural entranceway to the Kettering Lab Complex.