LPCiminelli awarded phase 2 contract for construction of new medical school

Release Date: October 15, 2014 This content is archived.

The UB medical school is the largest medical education building under construction in the nation.

BUFFALO, N.Y. – The State University of New York (SUNY) Construction Fund has awarded LPCiminelli the bid for the second phase of construction for the University at Buffalo’s new School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences building on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus.

The contract for phase 2 — the largest by far of three construction phases— is worth approximately $226 million. LPCiminelli was the lowest bidder among three.

At 628,000 square feet, the $375 million project at Main and High streets is the largest medical education building under construction in the nation. When the new building opens in 2017, it is expected to house 2,000 faculty, students and staff from the School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.

The design includes a seven-story atrium, classrooms and laboratories. It will be constructed on top of a new Allen/Hospital Metro station, a feature that accentuates community connections and promotes sustainable transportation options. The building is on track to be certified LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold, demonstrating UB’s commitment to environmental and energy stewardship.

Class size within the medical school will increase from 140 to 180 students. UB also is recruiting 100 new faculty members — world-class physician scientists and medical specialists – to teach within the school. The new faculty will bring much-needed clinical specialties to the region, as well as training programs in important, new medical fields.

An advance look at the new medical school is available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I3c4_UgIeh4 (a video fly-through developed by HOK, the global design, architecture, engineering and planning firm that designed the building)

Next steps in construction

Work on phase 2 is expected to begin in the spring. It involves construction of the building’s façade and roof; completion of all plumbing, mechanical and electrical systems; and completion of all interior finishes.

The next major visible signs of construction progress will include the erection of a tower crane about 280 feet in height in December, around the time the building’s structural steel will begin to go up.

Phase 2 work is expected to continue until the completion of the building in early 2017. Some of the furniture and equipment will be moved into the building in fall 2016 in phase 3 of the project.

Medical students will begin attending classes and labs in the new building during spring 2017. The expectation is that all UB medical students will be in the new building by August 2017.

Plans for MWBE participation

According to the SUNY Construction Fund, LPCiminelli has an approved minority- and women-owned business enterprises (MWBE) utilization plan for phases 1 and 2 of the UB medical school project. The plan calls for minority-owned business enterprises (MBE) and women-owned business enterprises (WBE) to account for 13.2 percent and 12.3 percent of construction spending on the project, respectively.

MWBE participation is a major focus of the university’s business practices in goods and services purchases as well. In fiscal years 2012 and 2013, UB spent $21.4 million on MWBE firms.  For MBE expenditures, this represents 13 percent and 18 percent of UB’s total spending in the past two fiscal years, respectively.  For WBE expenditures, this total is 23 percent and 19 percent of UB’s total spending in the past two fiscal years, respectively.  

These expenditures significantly exceed SUNY goals, which call for colleges and universities to make 12 and 10 percent of their overall purchases with MBE and WBE, respectively.

MWBE participation in the construction of UB’s Clinical and Translational Research Center, which was completed on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus in 2012, consisted of 20 percent for minority-owned businesses and 13.5 percent for women-owned businesses.

UB and the SUNY Construction Fund have held several MWBE forums in Buffalo and more are scheduled to keep these businesses informed of bid opportunities as construction on the medical school progresses.

The SUNY Construction Fund is the legal entity holding contracts in this project, reviewing bids and managing project funding. UB is partnering with the SUNY Construction Fund in an active, supporting role.

Creating an Academic Health Center

Building a new medical school in downtown Buffalo will be a defining moment in UB’s history and in the development of the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus.

The university’s long-term strategy for a UB Downtown Campus is focused on the relocation of the UB medical school to downtown Buffalo to help form the region’s first comprehensive academic health center (AHC).

Anchored by UB’s new medical school, in partnership with Kaleida Health, Roswell Park Cancer Institute and Hauptman Woodward Medical Research Institute, an AHC combines superior medical education, clinical care and research to create a dynamic environment focused on improving patient care and health outcomes in Western New York. It will create a comprehensive, interconnected teaching, research and clinical care environment for the community, faculty and students. 

The new medical school is the first project to have received NYSUNY Challenge Grant funding provided by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo when he signed the NYSUNY 2020 bill into law in 2011. Construction of the medical school will be funded by private philanthropy and state support.

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