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South Campus revitalization remains a priority

By JOHN DELLACONTRADA

Published September 12, 2017

“It is very important to the university that the South Campus remains vibrant.”
President Satish K. Tripathi

You’d expect the largest construction project in UB’s history to grab most of the headlines.

But as construction of the new building for the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences has progressed with much fanfare over the past three years, another priority project has steadily moved ahead.

UB’s South Campus Revitalization Plan is a major component of the UB 2020 Comprehensive Master Plan for the university’s three campuses. Nearing its 10th year of implementation, the plan is transforming UB’s historic Main Street campus.

“It is very important to the university that the South Campus remains vibrant,” says President Satish K. Tripathi. “We’ve made tremendous progress in restoring the beauty and vitality of the South Campus, and we will continue to do so into the future.”

The revitalization plan already has produced the renovation and opening of Kapoor Hall; transformation of the iconic Hayes Hall, reopened in 2016; and the current renovation of Crosby Hall for the School of Architecture and Planning.

In June, the School of Dental Medicine completed the first phase of an $11 million renovation to its preclinical simulation lab in Squire Hall, and in 2018, UB will begin renovating the dental school’s community dental clinic and build a welcome center for the clinic, also in Squire.

When the medical school fully relocates to the new 628,000-square-foot building on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus in 2018, another phase of the South Campus revitalization plan with ramp up and is projected to bring 1,500 faculty, staff and students to the campus.   

The long-term plan is for the South Campus to become home to many of UB’s graduate and professional education programs. Phase 1 of the plan, to be completed by 2020 pending approval of state funding, calls for renovation of Parker Hall to become the home of the School of Social Work and renovation of Townsend Hall for UB administrative units.  

Phase 2 of the plan calls for construction of a new building on the South Campus to house the Graduate School of Education and a new Professional Education Center.

In the short term, the Biomedical Research Building, Biomedical Education Building, and Cary and Farber halls will be renovated for use by students and faculty from UB’s other health sciences schools, particularly the School of Dental Medicine and the School of Public Health and Health Professions. Sherman Hall will be demolished to make room for future construction.

Over the next five years, the plan also calls for continued renovations and upgrades to Allen Hall and Clark Hall.

The campus landscape will continue its transformation as well, adding greenspaces and courtyards to complement the $1.8 million renovation of Harriman Quadrangle, completed in 2010, and removing “temporary” buildings that have existed on the South Campus for decades.

The overall objective is to restore the classic collegiate beauty of the South Campus in keeping with the design envisioned by Buffalo architect E.B. Green in his 1930 campus plan.