CONTACT: STEVE MARAVETZ
2130 Medical Laboratories
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 335-8037; fax (319) 335-8034
Groundbreaking set for new Medical Education and Biomedical Research
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- A groundbreaking ceremony for the University of Iowa's
new Medical Education and Biomedical Research Facility (MEBRF) has been
set for 11 a.m. Friday, Sept. 25. The groundbreaking event will be at the
southwest corner of the site currently occupied by the Steindler Building
on the UI campus, directly north of the Eckstein Medical Research Building.
Gov. Terry E. Branstad will be the featured speaker at the ceremony,
which will mark the official beginning of work on the 213,000 square-foot
building. Iowa State Board of Regents President Owen Newlin, UI President
Mary Sue Coleman and UI College of Medicine Dean Robert P. Kelch also will
make brief remarks.
The MEBRF, which is scheduled for completion in 2001, is part of the
largest capital project ever undertaken at the UI by the Board of Regents.
When finished, the MEBRF will be the primary education facility for the
UI medical school and will also house state-of-the-art laboratory space,
including one wing devoted to cancer research. Actual construction will
commence in mid-November, once the site has been cleared.
The building will be paid for with a combination of public and private
money. In August the Board of Regents sold $22.25 million worth of revenue
bonds. Simultaneous with the groundbreaking, the UI Foundation is launching
the public phase of a $25 million fundraising campaign, "Seeking Knowledge
for Healing." In addition to helping pay for the new building, money
raised during the campaign will be used to establish medical education
and research endowments, and provide student scholarship funds. So far,
the UI College of Medicine and the UI Foundation have raised $15 million
in early leadership commitments to the campaign.
In July the UI Foundation announced a $3 million gift from the Carver
Charitable Trust of Muscatine. The gift will establish the Roy J. Carver
Molecular Science Research Center, which will occupy the third and fourth
floors of the new building.
A major gift from an Iowa family will be announced at the groundbreaking
ceremony Sept. 25. This significant gift will name a portion of the MEBRF.
The MEBRF will feature a clinical skills training area, a computer instruction
laboratory, small-group learning facilities, laboratory space for basic
and applied research, study and gathering places for health sciences students,
and a large, multi-use auditorium.
The total project, of which the MEBRF is the centerpiece, includes a
landscape redesign of the health sciences campus, including the relocation
of Newton Road, the construction of an 800-space parking facility, and
extensive renovations to Westlawn. Once motorized traffic is routed around
the perimeter of the health sciences campus, the interior will become a
park-like setting, criss-crossed with sidewalks and landscaped with trees,
shrubs and other vegetation.