FORT WORTH, Texas -- The University of North Texas Health Science Center at
Fort Worth has begun construction on a $40 million, six-story building for its
growing biotechnology research and public health programs.
UNT Chancellor Lee Jackson, state Senators Chris Harris and Mike Moncrief, state Representatives Charles Geren and Vicki Truitt, and Fort Worth Mayor Kenneth Barr were among those who attended a groundbreaking ceremony for the building Nov. 21.
The new facility will house School of Public Health programs and labs for DNA identity, forensic genetics, genomics/proteomics and the Institutes for Discovery at the health science center. Classrooms, biotech facilities, and a multi-dimensional imaging center will also be located in the building. Future plans include retail opportunities on the first floor along Camp Bowie Boulevard, across from Fort Worth’s world-renowned museums and Will Rogers Memorial Complex. The building is scheduled to be completed in spring 2004.
“This building signifies a milestone in the success of the health science center,” said Ronald Blanck, DO, president. “More labs and classrooms will allow us to increase our enrollment and grow our research substantially.”
The predicted impact of the building includes significantly higher research expenditures and enrollment by the year 2010. For instance, expanded lab space will allow research funding to triple, from the current $12.5 million to an estimated $35 million. The health science center also anticipates that the building will allow it to add nearly 300 students to its public health and biomedical sciences graduate programs.
UNT Health Science Center is an academic medical center with a growing enrollment of nearly 1,000 medical, public health, and biomedical sciences graduate and doctoral students. It contributes nearly $300 million to the local economy each year.
Carter & Burgess, Inc., a Fort Worth-based firm, serves as prime architect/engineer for the project. Among other recent high-profile Carter & Burgess projects are the restored building for Cash America International, Inc. and the Fort Worth Convention Center expansion, for which the firm served as the prime architect/engineer. It was also the architect-of-record for the new Amon Carter Museum.
Architect James S. Polshek, FAIA, of Polshek Partnership in New York City, consulted on the design for the Center for Biotechnology and Public Health. Recent Polshek projects include the William J. Clinton Presidential Center in Little Rock, the Rose Center for Earth and Space at the American Museum of Natural History and Carnegie Hall renovation and expansion. Polshek studied architecture with Louis Kahn, who designed the Kimbell Art Museum across from the health science center.
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