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UB Pharmacy breaks ground on South Campus

Construction photo of Kapoor Hall, future home of the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences

Published September 11, 2009

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The University at Buffalo School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences held a ceremonial groundbreaking today for the building it will call home in 2012, when pharmacy will become the first UB professional school in three decades to move onto the South (Main Street) Campus and back into the City of Buffalo.

Kapoor Hall is named in honor of alumnus John N. Kapoor, who as a college graduate in India received a scholarship from UB that allowed him to complete a Ph.D. in 1972. A highly successful entrepreneur in the pharmaceutical industry, Kapoor has never forgotten UB's generosity. Through the John and Editha Kapoor Charitable Foundation, he has given more than $10.8 million to UB Pharmacy, inspiring several other major donations in support of the new state-of-the-art facility that will bear his name.

The building is the third major construction project begun this year at the university, which broke ground in April on a new North (Amherst) Campus engineering school building and in August on a 10-story facility to house Kaleida Health's Global Vascular Institute, UB's Clinical and Translational Research Center and UB's Biosciences Incubator on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus. The three projects are significant milestones in the UB 2020 strategic plan to grow the university and increase its annual local economic impact from $1.7 billion to $3.6 billion.

A major component of UB 2020 is the development and implementation of a comprehensive physical plan to dramatically expand and improve the character and facilities of UB's North, South and Downtown campuses.

Wayne K. Anderson, dean of UB Pharmacy -- the only pharmacy school in the State University of New York system -- said construction of Kapoor Hall is an exciting new chapter for the school.

"We have reached another defining point in our future, and this space will allow us to set new standards in pharmacy education statewide and throughout the U.S.," Anderson said. "Kapoor Hall will provide a special place where education, training and improved patient care will flourish."

The location of Kapoor Hall unites the pharmacy school with the other UB health sciences schools that comprise UB's Academic Health Center: dental medicine, medicine, nursing and public health and health professions. The move is a return to the City of Buffalo, where the pharmacy school -- the university's second oldest entity, next to medicine -- was founded more than 120 years ago. Since 1977, the pharmacy school has resided in Cooke and Hochstetter halls on UB's North Campus.

In constructing Kapoor Hall, UB is practicing sustainable architecture in its reuse and renovation of an existing South Campus building, the former Acheson Hall, which has been unoccupied since 1994. The 147,000-square-foot structure is targeting silver certification from Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), a green building national rating system that provides standards for environmentally sustainable construction.

Kapoor Hall will be the first facility designed specifically for the needs and anticipated growth of UB Pharmacy, which is ranked in the top 25 pharmacy schools in the nation, according to U.S. News and World Report.

Designed by architects S/L/A/M Collaborative, which completed projects for the University of Notre Dame and Emory University, the building's construction is making optimal use of public and private funds. New York State has provided $46 million for the $62 million construction project, with the rest coming from UB and private donors -- to create a contemporary, highly functional and ecologically friendly teaching and research facility.

Plans for Kapoor Hall include a state-of-the-art Pharmaceutical Care Teaching and Learning Center to support a comprehensive, inter-professional curriculum focused on continuity of care, medication therapy management, collaborative drug-therapy management and patient education, and which includes interaction with students from other health sciences curriculums. There also will be patient assessment suites, a model pharmacy for student training, student organizational and meeting spaces, study areas, computer labs, social gathering spaces, offices, conference rooms, apothecary museum and a café.

Other features will include classrooms and laboratories dedicated to pharmacy informatics and information systems, audio and video conferencing for real-time interaction with remote locations, live Web casts and recording capabilities, and interactive audience response systems. The new building also will provide facilities to enhance proteomics, protein therapeutics, pharmacogenomics and clinical and translational research.

UB President John B. Simpson hailed construction of Kapoor Hall as a significant step forward for the pharmacy school, the university and for UB efforts to improve quality of life in the University Heights neighborhood bordering the South Campus. UB's master physical plan calls for Kapoor and Parker halls to frame a new southern entrance to the South Campus. Moreover, the relocation of 700 UB faculty, staff and students to the building will help revitalize a part of the South Campus that has been mostly vacant and likely will provide a boost to local businesses in University Heights.

Construction of Kapoor Hall is part of a much larger and ongoing effort to reinvest in UB's South Campus. Already, the university has invested tens of millions of dollars in the basic infrastructure of the campus, replacing roofs, steam tunnels, electric power systems, sidewalks and roadways, as well new exterior lighting and security systems.

"As the first school to return to Buffalo since construction of the North Campus in the 1970s, the pharmacy school will serve as UB's newest ambassador to the city," Simpson said. "The school will be a signal element in the positive evolution of the South Campus and its surrounding community, as UB itself transforms, through UB 2020, into a premier institution of public higher education. I am confident the pharmacy school will forge many highly valued partnerships with our neighbors in University Heights as it continues to prepare future generations of pharmacists, clinicians and pharmaceutical scientists."

Simpson also thanked those who made the new home for pharmacy possible.

"I want to thank our leaders in state government for their foresight in appropriating $46 million for the building's construction. And I want to acknowledge John Kapoor and his fellow major donors to this project, whose gifts represent an investment in future generations of students and their university. Their generous support and commitment goes a long way toward helping us build a world-class research institution, and helping us achieve UB's full potential to participate in the revitalization of this region."

UB Pharmacy received several major gifts in addition to Kapoor's in support of the new building. Donors include the Panasci family -- Faye Panasci (whose late husband and father-in-law, Henry A. Panasci Jr. and Henry A. Panasci Sr., were UB Pharmacy graduates and founders of the pharmacy chain Fay's Drugs), her son, David A. Panasci, and daughter, Beth Leventhal; Ronald J. Isaacs '56; Ken Yee '75, Stephen Giroux '81 and CVS Caremark.

The University at Buffalo is a premier research-intensive public university, a flagship institution in the State University of New York system and its largest and most comprehensive campus. UB's more than 28,000 students pursue their academic interests through more than 300 undergraduate, graduate and professional degree programs. Founded in 1846, the University at Buffalo is a member of the Association of American Universities.