Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today broke ground on the University of Buffalos $375 million state-of-the-art medical school building. Scheduled to open in the fall of 2016, UBs new School of Medicine and Biomedical is a milestone project in the universitys history and in the citys efforts to reinvent itself as a destination for world-class health care. The eight-story, 540,000-square-foot building is the first project to be funded under the NYSUNY2020 Challenge Grant program, a hallmark initiative put in place by the Governor in 2011 to incentivize bottom-up, individualized, long-term economic development plans on SUNY campuses and the surrounding communities.
Todays groundbreaking of a new medical school here at the University of Buffalo is yet another demonstration of the states commitment to revitalizing Western New York and bring Buffalo back stronger than ever before, Governor Cuomo said. The Western New York region is becoming one of the nations premier locations for health and medical sciences, and this new school will play a central role in bringing the best and brightest medical students, teachers, researchers, and doctors here to Buffalo. In 2011, we launched the NYSUNY2020 Challenge Grant Program because we believed that universities like UB could serve as a hub for job creation, economic growth and community revitalization. With todays groundbreaking, we are continuing to see this vision become a reality.
The new medical school will provide a greatly enhanced clinical education for UB medical students through state-of-the-art research and simulation laboratories and through synergies with Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus (BNMC) partners. It will produce new research leading to advances in medical treatments and technologies, and create opportunities to grow the regions emerging biomedical industry. The surrounding neighborhood will benefit with access to clinics, availability of hundreds of new jobs and an overall revitalization of the area.
The medical school project is the largest individual construction project in the universitys 167 years and is a critical step in the UB 2020 plan to pursue research addressing critical societal needs, provide students with transformative educational experiences and further engage with local and global communities.
With a new medical school, UB will hire 100 new medical faculty and grow the size of its medical school class from 140 to 180 students. This influx of new UB medical talent will provide the region with access to additional clinical specialties and state-of-the-art health care.
Buffalo continues to grow stronger and todays groundbreaking for the University at Buffalos new $375 million medical school further proves it, said Mayor Byron Brown. Governor Cuomos support for this project will help usher in a new era of high quality medical education and health care in Buffalo. Bringing the new medical school to downtowns rapidly growing medical campus makes good economic development sense. It will make our city a more attractive and competitive place for people to get medical education, greatly improve access to health care in the region - particularly for low income and underserved residents - and bring thousands of people to downtown Buffalo on a daily basis, strengthening the core of our city.
Todays groundbreaking marks an exciting moment in SUNYs history, said SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher. The UB School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences will be a catalyst for pioneering research activity and discovery, a destination for students and faculty from throughout New York and around the world who want to study, teach, and practice medicine at the highest level, and a safe haven that provides hope for patients.
This groundbreaking is a pivotal moment for UB and our region, said UB President Satish K. Tripathi. The new medical school embodies all the core elements of the UB 2020 visionadvancing research and discovery that respond to the critical issues we face in the 21st century world, preparing our students to be global leaders in this world, and engaging even more effectively with our broader communities. Moving the medical school downtown will help us realize our universitys vision of excellence by advancing patient care, creating new medical discoveries, providing a world-class medical education, and helping revitalize downtown Buffalo.
Michael E. Cain, MD, vice president for health sciences and dean of the UB medical school, said, Today, we break ground for much more than a new building. Today, we mark the start of a new era for the medical school, for UB, for the city of Buffalo and Western New York. Moving the medical school close to our hospital and research partners on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus allows UB to foster, for the first time in its history, a comprehensive academic health center, creating a health care destination on par with Pittsburgh, Cleveland and St. Louis. Our goal is to speed new discoveries and knowledge, all for the goal of advancing health care.
The building was designed by HOK, a global design, architecture, engineering and planning firm. Community organizations, including the Allentown Association and the Orchard Community Initiative, a citizens group based in the Fruit Belt, provided significant feedback and input on the design.
Features of the building include a light-filled, seven-story glass atrium that joins the buildings two L-shaped structures and a terra-cotta and rainscreen faade. In addition to state-of-the-art research laboratories and classrooms, the new building will house advanced simulation centers for general patient care and surgical and robotic surgery training.
The downtown medical school will be constructed on top of a new Allen/Hospital Metro station to insure community connections and promote sustainable transportation options.
The transit station and the buildings connecting bridges to hospitals and other health care facilities will make navigating the medical school to and from the BNMC partner institutions more convenient and efficient. Clinical education, patient care and research will be tremendously strengthened as a result of the schools new location on the BNMC.
The new medical school will bring an additional 2,000 faculty, staff and students to downtown Buffalo, acting as a significant generator of economic growth and opportunity as well as urban vitality.
Gilbane LiRo Ventures is the construction manager. The construction project will be put out to bid later this year. The university is strongly committed to minority- and women-owned business participation in all of its construction projects, in line with the goals of Governor Cuomo and New York State.
President Tripathi noted that the groundbreaking was made possible by the generosity of the universitys many partners, including First Niagara, which provided UB with a .85-acre parcel of the site.