Dell Medical School Construction Plans Unveiled

May 8, 2013

AUSTIN, Texas — The University of Texas System Board of Regents on Thursday will consider a $334 million plan to construct a medical school at The University of Texas at Austin.

Construction of the Dell Medical School will bring focus to the university’s diverse biomedical research as it helps transform community health care, UT Austin President Bill Powers told regents Wednesday.

Powers proposed a $334 million plan to construct research, educational and administrative facilities, as well as a medical office building and parking garage totaling 515,000 square feet. Seton Healthcare Family and Central Health, two other partners in the medical school effort, would build a new hospital as part of the campus.

The campus would be built on land already owned by the university and would be bounded by Interstate 35, Trinity Street, Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and 15th Street. The educational portion of the medical school would be built on what is now a parking lot directly across from the current University Medical Center Brackenridge hospital. The new hospital would be constructed next to the educational facility, and a research facility would be built adjacent to the new hospital.

Implementation of Phase I of the plan would not require removal of the Erwin Center, but a long-term proposal calls for the relocation of the venue in six to 15 years. Phase I would require the replacement of the Penick-Allison Tennis Center. The university's Athletics Department will manage the relocation of the facility.

The Board of Regents Academic Affairs Committee voted Wednesday to recommend approval of the site plan for the Dell Medical School. The full Board of Regents is expected to vote Thursday.

“The site pIan for this project joins together the best in academic and community resources, and I’m very proud of the Board of Regents’ leadership in bringing this medical school to fruition,” said Gene Powell, chairman of the Board of Regents. “We are very excited because establishing a medical school on the campus of UT Austin is one more step to catapulting the university to even greater success, putting it in competition to be the finest public university in the nation.”

The Dell Medical School will be the fifth medical school in the UT System and the first medical school built in nearly four decades by a member of the Association of American Universities, an organization of leading public and private research universities.

“The new medical school campus will be part of our academic campus, and this will be a powerful connection,” Powers said. “Our medical students will be walking distance from some of the most innovative research in the world — not only in medicine but in pharmacy, chemistry, medical business systems and biomedical engineering. They will be learning shoulder-to-shoulder with the other professionals who will be on their teams in the hospitals and clinics — nurses, social workers and pharmacists — as they treat patients. This will be a great place to learn transformative medicine."

UT System Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa said the new medical school will support breakthrough biomedical research that will improve health care for the people of Central Texas and throughout the world.

“The UT Austin school of medicine was a key piece of the UT System’s Framework for Advancing Excellence, which was unanimously approved by the Board of Regents as part of our strategy to make UT Austin America’s finest university,” Cigarroa said. “We also are moving forward with full momentum to establish a medical school in the Rio Grande Valley, and together, these two medical schools will have a transformational impact on health care in Texas.”

Financing for the project would come from revenue bonds issued by UT Austin, backed by funding from the UT System and the Available University Fund, which is part of the state’s $19 billion endowment for UT and Texas A&M schools. The Board of Regents also has committed an additional $25 million a year for operating costs associated with the medical school.

The medical campus is part of a plan approved by Travis County voters in November 2012 that provided $35 million in local funding for medical services to the uninsured, filling a funding gap for ongoing medical school operations.

If the regents approve the plan, the university and its partners will begin detailed engineering studies on issues such as transportation, drainage and utilities.

The Dell Medical School is expected to open in summer 2016.

For more information, contact: Contact Jenny Lacoste-Caputo, UT System, (512) 499-4363 or (512) 574-5777 or Robert Cullick, University of Texas at Austin, (512) 619-9192.

17 Comments to "Dell Medical School Construction Plans Unveiled"

1.  Nicholas Gerow said on May 8, 2013

This is a really great idea, because not only UT Austin will evolve into the 21st Century technology era, but it will bring first-class medical education facilities to the Central Texas area. Additionally, it means that the medical field won't have to go to Houston, Tyler, Galveston, or San Antonio (despite being the closest to Austin). With that said, it will help create a large volume of jobs, help stimulate the economy, and therefore, it will be really good for UT to create a medical school center in Austin.

2.  Scott Richardson said on May 8, 2013

Photos of this proposed plan show Red River Street between 15th and MLK as being closed to traffic. What improvements will be made on surrounding streets to accommodate redirection of traffic flow and mitigate impact to already extremely congested surrounding intersections? Surely this has been addressed in the construction plan, but where are those details?

3.  zdenka said on May 9, 2013

WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Best of luck!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

4.  yaquichica said on May 9, 2013

"The medical campus is part of a plan approved by Travis County voters in November 2012 that provided $35 million in local funding for medical services to the uninsured, filling a funding gap for ongoing medical school operations."

Filling a funding gap of how much exactly? This is misleading taxpayers...what other operational costs will we be forced to pay? Maybe UT should reach into the pot of gold (literally) they purchased not too long ago to fund this school and fill their gaps.

5.  Jim Prentice said on May 9, 2013

Not nearly enough space for a 21st century medical school/hospital campus, even after the Erwin Center & Brackenridge Hospital are razed. Compare this to the size of the campuses of UTMB Galveston, UT Southwestern Dallas, UT San Antonio Health Science Center & UT Houston Health Science Center and the amount of space they use. The questions are why not at Mueller near Dell Children's Hospital & the UT Dell Pediatric Research Center and why interrupt an accessible in-city north-south traffic corridor?

6.  construction news said on May 10, 2013

having a modern and a big med school makes the students more convenient and comfortable in their schooling :) having the advanced and big facility make it excellent ! :)

http://www.construction-post.com/

7.  Terri Wallace said on May 10, 2013

EXCELLANT!!!!

8.  Kim said on May 10, 2013

As sad as I am to see the Erwin Center go (as an alum), figuring out how to shoehorn Dell Med School in so close to campus is HUGE (as an academic scientist). Thankfully, someone had the insight that the success of the research program depends upon proximity to main campus. That research program is what is going to drive innovation, job creation and economic factors, besides making great strides in disease treatment and cures. This will be the difference between getting run of the mill faculty and truly top class faculty. And just think about the opportunities for undergraduates to gain hands on experience. This is win-win. Good job UT!

9.  Robert Coffey said on May 10, 2013

Traffic will be terrible. Should have been placed elsewhere such as Mueller.

10.  Jenny Cormier said on May 10, 2013

I would like information about master and phd programs.

11.  Al F. West said on May 10, 2013

No! You cannot take away the tennis center and the Erwin! They are fine where they are. Put the medical school elsewhere like Mueller. Always trying to push aside our sports teams.

12.  Kevin said on May 10, 2013

Move it to East side of I35 but keep it close to the campus. There is no reason to put it near Ervin center.

13.  Ginger Hurst said on May 10, 2013

What about using the wasteland across from St Davids as well. It borders IH 35 and 32nd and Red River. Would be close to the other designated areas and could connect with St Davids and have tram connection. To cut down on traffic, could have a park and ride from somewhere east of IH 35.
Cleveland Clinic is a good example of what the medical school could become. A city unto itself. Hotel/restuarant accomadations within walking distance and train/bus service from airport, through downtown to Hospital Complex.

14.  Eva Mohrlok said on May 11, 2013

I agree with Jim Prentice, above, why not build this wonderful new facility where there is space to build it in the Mueller community just east of IH 35 and within easy access to all? Commuting routes to and from the Mueller area are already in the works. NO to closing Red River and NO to moving the Erwin Center. It seems that the current plan will cause much disruption to other areas of the campus and citizens of Austin.
I am an Austin taxpaying citizen and a Texas EX and think the plan needs to be rethought.

15.  Rachel Cowan said on May 13, 2013

Yes! I've been wanting to be a doctor for many years. I still have my bachalor's degree to complete, but it's wonderful to know there will be a medical school in Austin to shoot for! I would love to earn a MD from UT at Austin!! How exciting!!

16.  Toni Rayner said on May 14, 2013

As someone that helped develop the master plan for the Mueller development, I would like to inform you of :
1) There IS a master plan for Mueller, which is quickly filling in.
2) East Austin residents are tired of UT grabs and take-overs and YEARS ago spoke out to LIMIT any UT footprint in Mueller.
3) Before anyone else suggests that Mueller is an empty lot and ripe for UT use; Come out and look at the beautiful community that is already there!
4) UT is a brilliant neighbor and amazing asset, but it is NOT more important than anyone else in Austin.
~ Hugs, Toni

17.  Amani khamis said on May 29, 2013

Will they offer PA program?