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The newspaper of The Johns Hopkins University October 31, 2005 | Vol. 35 No. 9
A New Academic Building for SoM

Michael Armstrong, chairman of the Johns Hopkins Medicine board of trustees, at the gala at which his gift for an educational building was announced.

Much-needed facility becomes a reality with recently announced gift

By Greg Rienzi
The Gazette

The evolution of the East Baltimore campus continues as yet another key puzzle piece has been put into place.

C. Michael Armstrong, chairman of the Johns Hopkins Medicine board of trustees, has recently committed $20 million to the School of Medicine for the planning and construction of a new education building, the first such facility on the campus in nearly 25 years.

The gift was announced at an Oct. 22 event honoring major donors to the Johns Hopkins Institutions.

The new education building is part of the comprehensive 10-year master plan that will transform the medical campus that currently features several aging buildings — some more than 100 years old--that require replacement or renovation. Two new clinical towers and a 2,400-space garage, all located off Orleans Street, lie at the heart of the plan.

The estimated $1.2 billion overhaul calls for eventually razing several campus buildings and a parking garage. It is the largest and most expensive hospital project in Maryland history.

The clinical towers are slated to open in June 2009. The entire East Baltimore campus master plan is supported by a capital plan that extends to 2012.

The new education building will be located on a parcel between the Outpatient Center and the Cooley Center, the current site of three outdoor tennis courts. The building will likely be four floors, contain roughly 100,000 square feet of space and house state-of-the-art medical educational facilities, including an anatomy laboratory.

David Nichols, vice dean for education at the School of Medicine, said the need for the new building is "extraordinary" as the changes in medical education and technology have been revolutionary since the last academic building, the Preclinical Teaching Building, was constructed.

In the JHMI master plan, the Cardiovascular and Critical Care Adult Tower and Children's Tower (children's hospital on plan) are at bottom center. The new medical education building is at left center. Other buildings currently on the drawing board are the Harriet Lane Children's Health Center (pediatric ambulatory care on plan), the Hackerman-Patz Patient and Family Pavilion, a School of Nursing addition and a Wilmer Eye Institute research and outpatient facilty. The targeted completion date is 2012.

"The design of the new building comes at the same time we are designing a new medical curriculum. The new building will augment the opportunity of our faculty to teach 21st-century medicine," Nichols said. "One of the goals of any medical education building is to bring faculty from all disciplines together in a space where a fertile exchange of ideas can occur outside the classroom — and that will be our intent with this new facility."

Specifically, Nichols said the new building would make best use of the latest technology to educate students on such diverse areas as genetic advances, imaging equipment and doctor/patient communication.

The new building, he said, will also become the School of Medicine's front door.

"When prospective students come to visit the campus, we want them to walk into this building and say, This is the School of Medicine, the place where we are training the next generation of medicine leaders," he said. "Mike Armstrong's very generous gift will allow that appropriate type of representation to take place."

The School of Medicine expects to complete programming for the building by the end of the year, at which point a competitive search for an architect will begin. Construction is expected to get under way in early 2007, with a project completion date scheduled for 2008-2009.

Armstrong, the retired chairman of Comcast, AT&T and Hughes Electronics and former chair of the IBM World Trade Corp., has been involved with Johns Hopkins for 18 years. In 2002, he endowed the C. Michael Armstrong Professorship in Medicine to help the school continue a leadership role in stem cell research, followed in 2004 by a $4 million bequest to support research in that field. He is a former chair of the JHM board of visitors and currently serves on the university's board of trustees.

In a letter last week to the Johns Hopkins community, Edward Miller, dean of the medical faculty and CEO of Johns Hopkins Medicine, said this latest gift demonstrates Armstrong's immeasurable level of commitment to the school.

"Mike's interests and insight go far beyond the research arena. He recognizes the importance of educating the next generation of medical leaders," Miller said. "Just as advances in our knowledge and capabilities require new research and patient care buildings, they also have made new teaching facilities imperative. His latest gift addresses this need. A new teaching building will have tremendous impact on our students and will facilitate quality education."

In terms of the overall master plan, construction of the 2,400-space parking garage on Orleans Street was recently completed. The opening of the facility sets off a chain reaction in which the Broadway Garage, Jefferson Street Building and the Maryland Hospital Laundry building can now be demolished in order for the clinical towers to go up. Demolition of the Broadway Garage will begin today, and the other two buildings will be razed early next year.

Johns Hopkins Medicine plans to break ground in spring 2006 on the two new clinical buildings, the Cardiovascular and Critical Care Adult Tower and the Children's Tower. The two buildings, designed by the Perkins+Will architectural firm, will be linked to the rest of the hospital and provide roughly 1.4 million square feet of space.

The 560,000-square-foot Children's Tower will contain a pediatric trauma center, 205 inpatient beds, 10 operating rooms, outpatient care for oncology and psychiatry, and the Pediatric Clinical Research Unit, among other services. The 860,000-square-foot Cardiovascular and Critical Care Adult Tower will have two floors occupied by the Johns Hopkins Heart Institute, 320 beds, 14 endoscopy and bronchoscopy rooms and a full complement of radiology equipment.

The master plan also calls for many of the older buildings along Monument Street to be decommissioned from inpatient use. Some, such as the Brady building, may be razed. The Nelson/Harvey and Meyer buildings will be renovated to extend their useful life. The historic Billings, Marburg and Wilmer buildings recently underwent exterior restoration and will remain undisturbed.

Also currently scheduled for construction is the Hackerman-Patz Patient and Family Pavilion, a residence for oncology patients and their families to be built at the corner of Broadway and Orleans, just across the street from the Weinberg Building. A branch of the Pratt Library now stands on the site. Construction of the Patient and Family Pavilion will commence upon completion of the new Pratt branch farther west on Orleans, across from Dunbar High School.

Located at the southwest corner of Orleans and Wolfe streets, across from the Children's Tower, will be the new Harriet Lane Children's Health Center that will contain the Harriet Lane Clinic, faculty offices and other specialty clinics. The Children's Health Center is scheduled for completion in June 2006.

Other planned construction includes a Wilmer Eye Institute research and outpatient facility, located at the present site of the 550 Building parking lot, and an addition to the School of Nursing, two-thirds of which will be occupied by Nursing and one-third by the Phoebe R. Berman Bioethics Institute.

The master plan leaves open several other building opportunities.


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