TDA agreement gives green lights to possible Tulsa medical school downtown
BY P.J. LASSEK World Staff Writer
Friday, April 06, 2012
4/06/12 at 8:54 AM
The Tulsa Development Authority approved on Thursday a redevelopment agreement that clears the way for the creation of Tulsa School of Community Medicine to be housed downtown.
The four-year medical school would be a joint partnership of the University of Tulsa and the University of Oklahoma-Tulsa.
"We're just really delighted to see the project move forward. This is another important step for the project," said Susan Neal, TU's associate vice president of public affairs and economic development.
The authority's action allows for the $2.25 million sale of the vacant Hartford Building at 111 S. Greenwood Ave. The building has 74,772 square feet and an appraised value of $2.68 million.
Neal told the authority that TU made it clear that to make this kind of investment "we needed to take title and ownership of the property in advance of spending $1.5 million on the design and schematics."
Following the closing of the sale, Neal said due diligence work will begin on the building before the design process can begin.
The design work is estimated to take between six to nine months. Once completed, it and the schematics will be brought back to the authority for approval. Construction will then follow, Neal said.
Construction of the school is only one of the important steps needed for the project. Also under way is the accreditation process, Neal said.
In December, TU President Steadman Upham told the Tulsa World that the goal is to be ready to admit new students in 2014.
Upham said that TU had been working for more than three years on the project, noting that starting up a medical center "is not a simple matter."
The partnership is structured so that both universities will absorb some risk, Upham said.
TU will own the building and provide the basic sciences education, while OU will provide the accreditation and clinical elements.
At full-operational strength, the school will have more than 400 students and faculty at the facility, he said.
Authority member Roy Peters told Neal on Thursday that everyone he has spoken to about the project is "extremely excited."
Authority Chairman Julius Pegues said "this is going to be the greatest thing for Tulsa and is going to anchor the east end of downtown and we'll get all this infill growth."
Neal noted that Upham said he could find "no finer legacy to show our concern and make a contribution toward the health, education and welfare of our city."
Tulsa School of Community Medicine
The Tulsa School of Community Medicine is a joint project between the University of Tulsa and OU-Tulsa designed to address the shortage of doctors in Tulsa and throughout the state, TU President Steadman Upham said.
TU will own the building and provide the basic sciences education. OU will provide the accreditation and clinical elements. Officials with both schools hope the four-year program will admit its first students in 2014.
Original Print Headline: Tulsa medical school advances
P.J. Lassek 918-581-8382