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VOL. 128 | NO. 216 | Tuesday, November 05, 2013

UT Health Science Center to Outline New Campus Master Plan

By Michael Waddell

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The University of Tennessee Health Science Center is set to revamp its campus, and the school will host a public information session on the development of a new master plan Tuesday, Nov. 5, from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. in the Student-Alumni Center Dining Hall, 800 Madison Ave.

The new Transitional Science Research Building is one of several changes going on at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center.

(Daily News/Andrew J. Breig)

“The meeting will be an information session to let people know that the planning process is underway, what the timeline is like for the planning process, and to share with the community how we think the planning and the execution of our campus master plan are going to change the UTHSC footprint,” said Sheila Champlin, UTHSC assistant vice chancellor of communications and marketing.

The school will outline a growth trajectory for the next 10 to 15 years, including a 24-month schedule for the development of the new master plan.

“We’re at a critical juncture in the evolution of the Health Science Center,” said Dr. Ken Brown, UTHSC executive vice chancellor and chief operations officer. “In the past three to five years, we’ve received between $250 million and $300 million in capital improvement money to redesign the infrastructure of the campus.”

Nearly $250 million has come from the state of Tennessee.

Brown expects to see some acquisition of adjacent properties and the development of new strategies for how the campus will function.

“Now is an opportune time to lay out a bold, aggressive vision for how the university can serve the nucleus around which the medical district can grow into something that turns Memphis into a health care research incubator destination for the rest of the country,” Brown said.

Perkins-Will recently won the bid to draft the new campus master plan, which is expected to produce proposals for property acquisition, partnerships, land use, site selection, building use, open space, circulation and utility systems.

Critical partnerships that will shape plans are UTHSC’s relationships with the Regional Medical Center at Memphis and the Memphis Bioworks Foundation.

“We will look at how the university and The MED can dovetail their respective infrastructures together, and how the university and Bioworks Foundation can fully integrate around a research incubator building to support the vivarium they’ve built, so we can bring tech transfer and startup companies into the medical district,” Brown said.

More than 102 years after the campus first opened, the only pieces of the original college that remain are the location along Madison Avenue and a few medical instruments preserved behind glass as curiosities, according to the school’s centennial book, published in 2011.

Campus projects already underway include a multidisciplinary simulation center and a translational research building. Its $70 million pharmacy building came online a little more than a year ago.

“We completed the first four floors of the pharmacy building, and we’re in the process of building out the interiors of the fifth and sixth floors with wet lab space to do pharmaceutical research,” Brown said.

The translational building at the corner of Union Avenue and Manassas Street is in the final stages of completion and is expected to be finished in the next three to six months, and the $5 million demolition of several older buildings on the campus is also in the final stages.

Next up will be a $70 million project designed by Hnedak Bobo Group Inc. for the school’s historic quadrangle.

Brg3s Architects is also currently designing a pharmaceutical compounding facility to be built on the campus. The Plough Foundation donated approximately $4 million to support the project, and Brown expects UTHSC to kick in another $5 million.

“For our master plan going forward, we are also in the process of designing a second building for the College of Dentistry, we want to design a building for the College of Medicine, and we are in the process of acquiring some properties owned by Bioworks Foundation where we plan to do some demolition and construction,” Brown said.

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