The last steel beam in the construction of the new University of Arizona Health Sciences Innovation Building has been hoisted into place.
Covered with signatures and bedecked with U.S. and Arizona flags and a small ceremonial tree, the beam rose above the crowd that had gathered for the Nov. 17 "topping-off" ceremony, which was presided over by UA President Robert C. Robbins, Provost Andrew C. Comrie, and Leigh A. Neumayer, interim senior vice president for health sciences.
"This building represents an incredible opportunity," Robbins said. "It's a big part of what we're doing here at the university … around active learning and collaborative learning."
"That's the future, and I think that that's going to be the key to improving our retention rate, our graduation rate and providing our students with the tools necessary to go out and compete and work effectively in a team-oriented approach, certainly around the health sciences but around all of industry," he said.
Attendees were invited to sign the steel beam before it was placed, a milestone in the construction of the $165 million, nine-story, 220,000-square-foot building at North Cherry Avenue and East Drachman Street on the UAHS campus. Construction began in June 1016.
Scheduled for completion next summer, the Health Sciences Innovation Building is designed for interprofessional, team-based health professions education. The futuristic facility will include flexible group/team learning areas and an innovative medical simulation center that will serve to foster collaboration among multidisciplinary teams of health professionals, students and faculty in the UA colleges of medicine, nursing, pharmacy and public health.
"To take a page from one of Dr. Robbins' favorite books … 'The Fourth Industrial Revolution,' this building represents our collective efforts to put humans first and empower technology to give us all a better quality of life through improved health, positioning us at the intersection of the physical, digital and biological realms," Neumayer said. "It's an example of the continued collaboration of various stakeholders within health sciences, across the campus, at Banner Health, and through the community and the state, to ensure that the UA remains on the leading edge of innovative medical education."
The building was designed to provide a single, interdisciplinary simulation facility where students from all of the UAHS colleges can learn and practice as teams from the start of their health care training. Some of its features include:
- "Flipped classrooms" that can accommodate as many as 150 students for interactive learning.
- A "special events forum" that can accommodate more than 1,000 people.
- Clinical labs and simulation centers.