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September 2008 Issue

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New Academic Research Building Officially Opens

Published September 2008

Students lounged on the grand staircase, soaking up some sun on a cooler-than-normal summer day. Behind them, bicycles were parked at a rack next to the entrance. Inside, students filled just about every available seating space, talking excitedly and making introductions.

For a building that hadn’t even had its grand opening yet, the Center for Academic and Research Excellence (CARE)/Crawley Building was getting quite a workout.

The CARE/Crawley Building, the newest addition to the UC medical campus, opened quietly in early August and quickly drew raves from students, faculty and staff who visited it.

Official accolades will have to wait until the grand opening is held with an invitation-only dinner and gala Sept. 9 and a public ceremony from 1 to 3 p.m. Sept. 10.

Construction began four years ago at the site on the corner of Eden Avenue and Albert Sabin Way, formerly a parking garage.

The new building is part of Phase I in a five-phase renovation project for the Medical Sciences Building (MSB), which is connected to CARE/Crawley by a nine-story glass atrium.

With construction of the buildiing complete, the first sign of real activity came with the opening of the relocated medical bookstore, moving from the MSB to an entrylevel spot just off the atrium.

Traffic picked up even more with the opening of the Donald C. Harrison Health Sciences Library, a 44,872-square-foot facility that includes inviting spaces for study, research and instruction as well as a 90-seat computer lab.

First-year medical students arrived for orientation in mid-August and immediately began taking advantage of the building’s open spaces, designed to foster collaboration and interaction.

During a lunch break, they gathered at tables, lounges and benches, or simply strolled through the atrium gazing up at the multi-level network of glass walkways.

“I do get a little unstable and uneasy on them,” first-year medical student Emily Stover says of the bridges, quickly adding, “I know that’s irrational. But I like them a lot; I think it’s cool.”

“I really like that it’s open with natural light,” first-year student Daniel Cepela says of the new building. “The architect (UC alumnus Eric Sueberkrop of Studios Architecture) really made it interesting, with the wavy benches and the glass all over.”

Then, already thinking like a medical student, he adds: “I guess my impression will be better formed once test week rolls around and I see how the study spaces fill up.”

Stover echoes Cepela’s thoughts, saying, “I really appreciate all the study areas they have in here and places to sit—places for students, which I think says a lot about what UC’s trying to do. As a student, I appreciate it.”

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