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Erection of steel beams has begun at medical school

A crawler crane has begun erecting steel beams for the new medical school building. Photo: Sandy Kicman

By ELLEN GOLDBAUM

Published May 11, 2015

A crawler crane has begun installing steel beams for the new School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, the largest construction project in UB’s 167-year history.

The school is scheduled to open in 2017 on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus.

Members of the news media recently had an opportunity to photograph construction activity at the site from the sixth floor of the Conventus building at 1001 Main St., courtesy of Ciminelli Real Estate. Approximately 100 construction workers are now at the site, with that number expected to rise to between 400 and 500 at the project’s peak.

Another view of the construction site. Photo: Sandy Kicman

At the media briefing, Michael E. Cain, vice president for health sciences and dean of the medical school, discussed how the design of the project was a prospective process, with many parties at the table. He said the medical school; Conventus, a medical office, research and clinical care facility; and the new John R. Oishei Children’s Hospital — under construction nearby between High and Goodrich streets — all were designed to maximize interaction among the people who will visit, work, teach, study and provide or receive care in these facilities. The walkways that eventually will connect the medical school to Conventus and Conventus to Children’s Hospital will be a physical demonstration of that concept.

More vital statistics on the medical school project. Click to zoom in on the infographic.

“These three buildings were designed as a partnership, to function as a complex,” Cain said, with a goal of ensuring the most judicious use of space for physicians, staff, students and the public.

That emphasis on partnership was a crucial ingredient in designing the medical school, he said, and is a powerful indicator of how UB’s partners on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus are working together.

“In the 8 1/2 years that I have been here, I have seen a growing culture of wanting to achieve excellence through collaboration instead of internal competition,” he said. “This is a different city than it was 8 1/2 years ago and in a very positive way.”

The UB medical school is the largest medical education facility under construction in the U.S. The erection of steel now underway is for floors one through three; a tower crane will be used this summer to install floors four through eight.