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UW Board of Regents approves Healthstar research facility

November 5, 2004 By Dennis Chaptman

Construction of a $133.9 million Interdisciplinary Research Complex, which will replace outdated research facilities and unify the Medical School on the west campus, won approval Friday (Nov. 5) from the Board of Regents.

The first phase of the project will consist of a three-story base with a five-story tower adjacent to UW Hospital and Clinics and will include laboratory facilities, offices, an imaging center and animal quarters.

Associate Vice Chancellor Alan Fish says the project is the final phase of the 1997 Healthstar initiative that was created to address the health care research and instructional needs of the 21st century.

The other facilities included in the initiative were the Rennebohm Pharmacy Building and the Health Sciences Learning Center, both of which have been completed.

“This project will enable medical research facilities, now scattered around the campus in aging and inadequate facilities, to consolidate near the hospital and Waisman Center,” Fish says.

In addition, the facility’s proximity to UW Hospital and Clinics to will aid in transferring basic-science discoveries into clinical applications.

“This unique facility will allow the Medical School to bring together researchers from basic and clinical sciences to pursue an agenda that fosters translation of science into real-life applications that will significantly improve health,” says Paul DeLuca, Medical School vice dean and associate dean for research and graduate studies.v

The facility is designed to encourage a multidisciplinary approach that will aid in recruiting and retaining topnotch faculty and high-quality research programs.

Plans call for the facility to be funded with $110.5 million in gifts and grants and $23.4 million in general fund-supported borrowing. More than $80 million has been raised for the project, including $18 million in grants from the National Institutes of Health to be matched with another $9 million.

The project, which is expected to be completed in spring 2008, is slated to go before the State Building Commission for action on Nov. 17.

In addition, the regents approved two other building projects:

  • A $3.7 million expansion of the University Ridge Golf Course using funds generated by operation of the course. The project includes development of a short-game practice area, a new driving range and a nine-hole academy course. The academy course will offer high-quality golf to beginners, youth and the elderly by providing a lower-cost, shorter-length, and quicker-paced game. It will have one par-five, two par-four and six par-three holes with varying turf and slope conditions.
  • Allowing $500,000 in gift funds to be used for remodeling some areas of the first floor of Grainger Hall as part of its approval of a $40.5 million addition to house graduate programs at the School of Business. Of the total cost, $30.5 million comes from gift funds.