In a ceremonial groundbreaking Monday, June 18, Marshall University marked the official start of construction on its new $56 million school of pharmacy academic building and graduate student housing complex on the Fairfield Campus of the Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine.
The new academic building, which will be located at the corner of Hal Greer Blvd. and Charleston Ave., will house research, instructional, communal and administrative areas. The graduate housing project, located adjacent to the Erma Ora Byrd Clinical Center, will feature 200 units for apartment-style living and will accommodate pharmacy and medical students as well as resident physicians.
Marshall University President Jerome A. Gilbert said at the ceremony, “We will change our students’ lives through these new facilities. We will enhance their learning experiences and prepare them for successful careers in health care. We will provide comfortable, affordable living accommodations that are specially designed for the needs of graduate students and their families.
“And I stand here today to tell you that construction of this new pharmacy facility and graduate student housing complex also will be a turning point in the revitalization of this neighborhood and this community. We can leverage this project, along with the resources of our existing health sciences campus and Cabell Huntington-Hospital, to reimagine what the Hal Greer Boulevard Corridor can be.”
In one of her first public events since taking the school of pharmacy deanship in May, Dr. Gayle Brazeau said she is indebted to those before her who have worked diligently to bring the new school of pharmacy to fruition.
“Visionaries like Dr. Stephen Kopp, interim president Gary White, inaugural dean Dr. Kevin Yingling and interim dean Brian Gallagher, as well as school of medicine dean Dr. Joe Shapiro and President Gilbert have all spent countless hours plotting the course for the growth of our programs,” Brazeau said. “I’m very happy to join the Marshall family at this pivotal point in its history.”
Dean Joseph Shapiro of the school of medicine commented that the move toward a more cohesive health sciences campus will not only benefit students, but boost the university’s research component as well.
“Team science and collaboration are cornerstones in the research world,” Shapiro said. “The move to geographically anchor our schools of medicine and pharmacy in the same area is incredibly beneficial for our programs. Simply put, the move will streamline our operations and collaboration will run smoother.”
The new facilities celebrated today are the result of a public-private partnership between the university and private investment firm Signet LLC. Signet is managing the financing, design and construction of the project, which will be funded primarily through proceeds from the housing complex.
Anthony Manna, chairman of Signet LLC, said, “We are truly delighted to have this opportunity to partner with such a prestigious institution as Marshall in order to bring transformation to their life sciences campus and Huntington. These projects represent the best of what a public-private partnership should be, and we are excited to help the university achieve its goal and vision.”
The architects are Edward Tucker Architects Inc. of Huntington and Perkins + Will of Atlanta. The construction firm is PJ Dick.
The new complex is expected to be completed in August 2019, in time for the fall semester.