Construction ready to roll on $187M U-Arizona health sciences building

Project will create 2,000 construction jobs.

The Arizona Board of Regents now can begin construction on a $187 million research and education building on the Phoenix Biomedical Campus, which will create 2,000 construction jobs.

The Joint Committee on Capital Review met to review the project on March 23, the only step holding up construction. The 268,000-square-foot Health Sciences Education Building, part of the planned expansion of The University of Arizona College of Medicine - Phoenix in partnership with Arizona State University, is supported by future Arizona Lottery revenue through a financing plan that begins in 2016. The universities will issue bonds immediately and make interest-only payments on them for five years to get the project underway.

Dr. Stuart Flynn, dean of the medical school’s Phoenix campus, said he is ecstatic.

“If I could do a cartwheel, I would do one,” he said. “Now we know we’re over a huge hurdle and it’s just going to be very difficult to slow this momentum down at this point. It’s been a long journey and tomorrow we go to work on keeping the campus moving forward with a new building now in sight.”

Now that the JCCR has reviewed the project and as bond proceeds become available, construction on the building could begin as early as April, creating 2,000 construction jobs.

Overall expansion plans for the Phoenix Biomedical Campus is expected to generate $2.1 billion in economic impact each year.

The Arizona Board of Regents endorsed the expansion plan in December, allowing the medical school to expand its class size to at least 110 students per year from its existing 48 medical students in Phoenix. Also in that building will be students from the ASU College of Nursing and Health Innovation as well as other health-related programs from Northern Arizona University.