Buffalo, NY (WBEN) - Construction of the University at Buffalo's new medical school will be officially underway on Tuesday.
The $35 million facility will be located on the Buffalo Niagara Medical campus, and is scheduled to open in the fall of 2016.
UB says the new school will allow them to increase the size of its medical school class from 140 to 180 students, and hire 100 new medical faculty members.
The eight-story, 540,000-square-foot medical school project is the largest individual construction project in the University's 167 year history.
"This is really a great moment for UB, and for the whole region actually," said UB President Satish Tripathi. "It's really huge in terms of the quality of education, quality of healthcare, as well as the quality of research we can conduct."
The School will be constructed on top of a new Allen/Hospital Metro rail station, a feature Tripathi says was important considering the location. "Think about integrating the transportation to the building, and also integrating the North and South Campuses to the Metro. That really provides a transportation system that is convenient, that is green, and also an alternate transportation system to those currently driving to downtown. This is also good because people coming through the Metro will be connected to all the other buildings in the area."
While 40 additional students doesn't seem like much, Tripathi says that the additional numbers bring the University closer to other medical schools.
The Buffalo-Niagara Medical Campus is often mentioned by politicians as an example of how Buffalo is gaining ground. Tripathi agrees with that sentiment, and says that UB can play a part in the city's momentum.
"I think this is a great thing for Buffalo because this really gives notice to the outside of (Buffalo's) quality of healthcare and quality of education. This is a big deal."