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Published: 7/29/2008

University of Toledo plans for $30M pharmacy building

BY GABE NELSON
BLADE STAFF WRITER

With a decision by the University of Toledo board of trustees yesterday, the college of pharmacy is on track to move from UT s main campus to new digs on its health science campus.

The trustees approved plans to build a $30 million home for the pharmacy college on the campus on Arlington Avenue where the former Medical College of Ohio existed before merging with UT in 2006.

The college of pharmacy currently is housed in Wolfe Hall.

Chuck Lehnert, UT s vice president for facilities and construction, said officials now can proceed with securing construction bids for the 54,000-square-foot project.

The building is to be completed in mid-2010.

Dr. Jeffrey Gold, UT s provost and executive vice president for health affairs, said UT officials have known the pharmacy school sought more space since before the merger.

After the merger, officials decided that moving the century-old school to between the Block Health Science Building and the Health Education Building on the health science campus would foster collaboration between pharmacy students and faculty and those in other health disciplines.

Students in the school s six-year doctor of pharmacy program would study for two years on UT s main campus and spend their last four years on the health science campus, Dr. Gold said.

The experiences that are derived from being juxtaposed to a hospital system, from sharing space in the library and the cafeteria with medical students and nursing students, made an awful lot of sense for the sake of synergy, he said.

The trustees also gave the athletic department permission to move forward with plans for an $11 million indoor practice facility that would be used mainly for football.

Mr. Lehnert said the university needs the facility to keep up with other Mid-American Conference schools.

Success on the playing field has been shown to translate into academic prestige and lead alumni to open their pocketbooks.

The trustees discussed financing both projects by borrowing through bonds and pursuing private support.

Trustee Carroll Ashley, the only dissenter, voted against both proposals after questioning how the university would pay off the loans, along with several other upcoming construction projects.

There s not enough revenue to support further indebtedness, he said.

Mr. Lehnert said revenue from research and the university hospital, could help repay the loans.

Also during the meeting, Matt Schroeder, director of business enterprises for the UT Foundation, updated trustees on efforts to develop the Dorr Street corridor near UT s main campus.

Mr. Schroeder said the university hopes to develop the area as a commercial corridor to meet student demand for greater shopping and dining opportunities near campus.

He said officials plan to interview representatives of three firms tomorrow before selecting a developer.

Contact Gabe Nelson at: gnelson@theblade.com or 419-724-6076.



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