Frequently Asked Questions
Revised 9/16/2015. Published February 27, 2015
The University at Buffalo’s new medical school is the largest medical education building under construction in the U.S., according to data compiled by the Association of American Medical Colleges.
Expected to open in 2017, the eight-story, 628,000 square-foot facility is also the largest project being constructed in Western New York.
The new building will help the university create a world-class medical school, recruit outstanding researchers and clinicians, and transform the region into a major destination for innovative medical care and research — all objectives critical to the UB 2020 strategic plan.
UB’s new medical school was the first project to receive NYSUNY Challenge Grant funding through NYSUNY 2020, a piece of legislation that Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo signed into law in 2011.
A new medical school will:
Groundbreaking took place in October 2013, and construction is well underway. The school is scheduled to open in 2017.
The eight-story, 628,000 square-foot building is being built at the corner of Main and High streets on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus. The new building brings the UB medical school back to its historic roots; the school was located on High Street from 1893 until 1953, when it moved to its current location on UB’s South Campus.
A tower crane 280 feet in height will be erected in the summer of 2015. Phase 2 work is expected to continue until the completion of the building in 2017.
On Wednesday, July 1, 10’x3’ and 7’x3’ wrap banners featuring the future look of the new Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at University at Buffalo building as well as messaging were installed at the construction site. As patients, doctors, staff, students, neighbors and other members of Buffalo’s downtown community approach the BNMC and construction site, they will see these bold message banners identifying the site as the future home of the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at University at Buffalo. The banners, designed by UB’s Office of University Communications bear a full-color rendering of the new building and were fabricated and installed by Ace Flag Company. The banners have been placed at several locations on the perimeter of the site on Main and High streets.
The banners contain the following messaging:
A key factor in the decision to move the medical school downtown was the ability to expand the number of physicians UB educates. The new building will allow the school to increase the size of each class from 140 to 180, addressing the local and national physician shortages.
One of UB’s goals is to attract the most promising individuals and support their development. UB’s medical students are continuously recognized for excellence in achievement and a state of the art medical education building will help UB continue to recruit top students. Most UB medical students are New York State residents, many of whom may choose to practice in the state or the region, potentially alleviating the regional shortage of physicians.
At UB, we’re making discoveries that can transform lives. UB is at the forefront of a new era of medicine—training the next generation of experts, providing advanced care and pioneering new medical therapies. A new medical school is also helping UB recruit more than 100 talented physician-scientists and medical specialists to Western New York. UB faculty will pioneer new medical treatments and technologies and help advance medical care worldwide. For example, UB medical faculty are pioneering new medical advances in the treatment of stroke, heart disease and neurological diseases while also creating new tools in emerging fields like genomics and bioinformatics.
The cost of these banners was $1,315 including production, finishing and installation and paid for using non-state funds allotted for UB’s communications and marketing efforts. Also included at the construction site is a UB flag affixed to the crawler crane which cost $110, also part of UB’s communications and marketing efforts.
An advance look at the new medical school is available below. This video fly-through was developed by HOK, the global design, architecture, engineering and planning firm that designed the building.
The signature feature of the new medical school is a light-filled, six -story, glass atrium that joins the building’s two L-shaped structures. It includes connecting bridges to adjacent buildings and a stairway that cascades down from south to north.
The new school will be constructed on top of a new Allen/Hospital Metro station, a fact that not only accentuates community connections, but also promotes sustainable transportation, which will help the building achieve its targeted LEED gold designation.
A pedestrian passageway will extend through the building between Main and Washington streets, leading to Allen Street. To further promote alternative transportation modes, this passageway is deliberately aligned with a proposed Allen Street pedestrian extension from Washington to Michigan streets, which will feature a bike share facility.
Yes. UB has held public forums to seek input on the selection of the architect and on possible design directions. The university continues to engage with community members and community leaders regarding the project.
UB has formed a Community Advisory Group to provide a forum for dialog with neighbors, businesses, residents and other stakeholders, including representatives from the immediately affected surrounding communities and adjacent neighboring buildings. The feedback provided during this outreach has been very beneficial to the design process.
Once open, the school will bring 2,000 UB faculty, staff and students to downtown Buffalo daily, which will increase population density in the heart of the city while providing economic development opportunities, such as increased demand for retail and housing development, business incubators and research parks. In the long run, this influx of people is expected to create new retailing, vendor and service opportunities for companies and businesspeople in the communities bordering the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus.
The medical school project will provide better access to construction, vending and purchasing opportunities created by UB’s expansion on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus. For example, UB has set ambitious goals for the participation of minority and women-owned business enterprises (MWBEs) for the medical school project. According to the State University Construction Fund, LPCiminelli has approved Utilization Plans for the two UB medical school project contracts with 24.7 percent and 20.2 percent MWBE participation respectively.
It will cost $375 million to build the new medical school. The sources of funds are:
|State Capital Appropriations||$35 million|
|Existing UB Capital Appropriations||$50 million *|
|SMBS Reserves||$25 million
|Bond Financing||$215 million|
* Funds previously planned for deferred maintenance work in Cary, Farber, and Sherman.
Of the $375 million it will cost to build the medical school, $50 million is to be raised from private sources — gifts from individuals, foundations and corporations.
The medical school has organized a fundraising steering committee, chaired by Jeremy Jacobs, chairman and chief executive of Delaware North Companies Inc. and chair of the UB Council; Nancy Nielsen, MD, PhD, senior associate dean for health policy in the UB medical school; and Robert Wilmers, chairman and chief executive officer of M&T Bank. The committee will raise funds for this building, and many other medical school initiatives, including endowments, research funds and scholarships.
Moving the medical school downtown strengthens all three of UB's campuses, enabling UB to make the most of each one’s resources and locations.
Under UB’s Physical Plan, the master plan that guides the development of the university’s facilities, the North Campus will remain a hub for academic and social life, while the South Campus will take on a new role as a center for professional education.
UB remains committed to the South Campus, where the medical school is now located, and that commitment is not changing.
After 2017, when the medical school moves downtown, UB will develop a plan that will ultimately result in moving UB’s professional schools from the North Campus to the South Campus.
The plan for the South Campus is to reinforce historic quadrangles, remove temporary buildings, recover grand lawns from parking and revitalize landscapes. Wayfinding and access to campus will be improved, with new facilities for transit patrons and bicycle commuters, a simplified campus loop road, an improved Bailey Avenue entrance and better connections to the neighborhood.