The University of Texas at Austin has launched construction of the new Dell Medical School in the southeastern portion of campus.
By becoming the first tier-one university in the United States in decades to establish a new medical school, UT Austin aims "to be better to be of greater service to society," said President Bill Powers.
"The Dell Medical School will embody the next innovation and hopefully many hundreds of innovations in medical education, and indeed, in health care itself," added Powers.
Powers and Dell Medical School Dean Clay Johnston joined community leaders, local officeholders and UT System officials, including Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa, at a groundbreaking ceremony Monday at the site of the new school. They thanked Travis County voters, Michael and Susan Dell, and community organizations for supporting the vision to create the new school.
In 2012, Travis County voters approved a proposal to increase the tax rate for Central Health, the countywide hospital district, and commit $35 million each year to support the medical school. Soon afterward, the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation pledged $50 million to establish the school.
"Make no mistake. Today isn't just about three new buildings on our skyline," said state Sen. Kirk Watson, who has led efforts to create a medical school in Austin. "Our community will be different healthier and stronger thanks to this project we're launching today."
The school will include research, educational and administrative facilities, as well as a medical office building and parking garage totaling 515,000 square feet. It will be located at the intersection of 15th and Red River streets, near the current site of University Medical Center Brackenridge and UT Austin's School of Nursing.
The first facilities are expected to be complete for the inaugural class of students in fall 2016.
Last year, the UT System Board of Regents committed $334 million for the construction. Additionally, the Seton Healthcare Family has committed $295 million a portion of which will come from fundraising to build a new 211-bed teaching hospital to replace the aging University Medical Center Brackenridge. Seton Medical Center at The University of Texas will serve as the medical school's primary clinical in-patient teaching facility and enhance services to residents of Central Texas.
The Dell Medical School will also develop new approaches for teaching, patient care and research that build on a vision to transform both medical education and health care delivery. The new school will tap into Austin's technology and research communities to find new ways both to educate medical professionals and deliver health services.
"We have a responsibility to take advantage of our newness," said Johnston, "to test out different ways of doing things that could become models for the rest of the country."
During Monday's ceremony, each of the speakers took a moment to write words such as "Innovation," "Care" and "Community" on a large board, describing their hopes for the new medical school.
For more information and to view a "fly-around" video rendering of the new teaching hospital, visit the Dell Medical School website at http://www.utexas.edu/dell-medical-school.
View a mosaic animation video of the Dell Medical School at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2IkUxSTP-Wk.