A ceremonial groundbreaking was held Wednesday for the building, part of the expansion of the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix. Gov. Jan Brewer, Arizona House Speaker Kirk Adams (R-Mesa), Arizona Senate Minority Leader Jorge Luis Garcia (D-Tucson), Arizona Board of Regents President Ernest Calderón, Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon, University of Arizona President Robert Shelton and Northern Arizona University President John Haeger all took part in the ceremony at the campus, near 7th and Van Buren streets.
After approval from the Arizona Board of Regents, the state legislature and Gov. Brewer, plans were developed for the $187-million, 268,000-square-foot education building that will house the expansion of the medical school, as well as programs from the UA College of Pharmacy, the UA Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health and Northern Arizona University College of Health and Human Services programs.
The new building will allow the College of Medicine – Phoenix to expand its class size to 120 students per year (from 48 per year). It also creates space for training other health sciences students and for interdisciplinary education, with classrooms, labs, preclinical training suites, a learning resource center, study areas and faculty offices.
The UA College of Pharmacy also will have programs in the new building, with plans to build a program around the emerging understanding of the genetic basis for diagnosis and treatment of disease. The College of Pharmacy will continue to have fourth-year students in the Phoenix area.
The new building is part of the overall plan to create a major academic health center in Downtown Phoenix that will include health education facilities, research and clinical programs. In addition to the medical school, the Phoenix Biomedical Campus is home to Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) and has been developed over the last five years by the Arizona Board of Regents, the state universities and the city of Phoenix.