TU scraps downtown building purchase for med school
BY SHANNON MUCHMORE World Staff Writer
Friday, February 15, 2013
2/15/13 at 8:00 AM
The University of Tulsa will not complete the purchase of downtown Tulsa's Hartford Building, which was to serve as the home of the planned Tulsa School of Community Medicine.
The school will instead be located at the campuses of the partnering universities, TU and the University of Oklahoma-Tulsa.
Both universities remain committed to the school and its mission, according to a statement from TU.
"Our needs, our partnership and our mission for the medical school in Tulsa remain the same," TU President Steadman Upham said in the statement.
"Only the location is changing, and it is doing so in a way that allows for more rapid opening of the Tulsa School of Community Medicine."
The redevelopment agreement between TU and the Tulsa Development Authority was terminated Thursday morning at a meeting of the authority.
The nearly 75,000-square-foot building at 111 S. Greenwood Ave. was to be purchased for $2.25 million. It had an appraised value of $2.68 million.
The cost for acquiring and redeveloping the building became prohibitive as the facility requirements became more detailed, according to the statement.
About $139 million has been raised in private money to support the school, OU-Tulsa President Dr. Gerard Clancy said in a telephone interview.
"We really want to be wise and wonderful stewards of that and it's a complicated, complicated health care world right now so it's really important for us to be efficient and judicious with the resources that we already have," he said.
Tulsa Development Authority Executive Director O.C. Walker said downtown has lost an anchor institution with the medical school no longer locating there.
The authority will decide next month whether to send out another request for proposals for the building, he said.
"We're quite disappointed that TU and OU won't participate in this but we're going to actively market that property," he said.
The first class of the medical school is expected to be admitted in fall 2015, although officials previously hoped the first class would be in 2014.
Clancy said the medical school still needs to acquire accreditation.
"One of the things they look at is are you on very solid, stable financial ground and we're really getting very close to being able to say we're in great shape to move forward with the accreditation," he said.
TU will provide science education and OU-Tulsa will provide advanced medical instruction. Students will be attending both campuses through all four years, Clancy said.
TU and OU-Tulsa are working together on research and faculty from both universities are putting together the medical school's curriculum, he said.
"The partnership is as good as ever," he said. "We think we're being good stewards of the resources that we've received both publicly and privately.
"We're still 49th in the country in number of physicians per capita and we're trying to open up the pipeline for physician graduates as fast as we can."
Original Print Headline: TU scraps building purchase
Shannon Muchmore 918-581-8378