Release Date: February 12, 2010
BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Despite a difficult economy, state budget woes and the ever-challenging weather, Kaleida Health and the University at Buffalo's $291 million construction project is moving full speed ahead.
Today, the two organizations ceremonially marked the first sequence of steel being raised and put into place at the building's construction site on the corner of Ellicott and Goodrich streets in downtown Buffalo.
Kaleida Health President and CEO James R. Kaskie called the project "transformational" for the Western New York community, saying the largest construction project in decades serves as tangible progress that the local health care system is delivering on reform.
"Over the past six months, the construction crews have worked diligently to prepare the site and get us ready for today with the first sequence of steel," said Kaskie. "It is not only symbolic but real progress. This is reform turning into meaningful action. Together, with the University at Buffalo, we are building a world-class flagship medical and research center right here in Western New York. It is a pivotal moment for both of our organizations, our community and, most importantly, the patients we serve."
UB President John B. Simpson said this new building when completed will improve health care in Western New York by linking education, clinical care, research and business incubation in one combined facility.
"Today's milestone signals that this collaborative project is one step closer to completion, which means our community is one step closer to better health care," Simpson said. "And the university is one step closer to achieving a major objective of the UB 2020 plan -- expanding UB's presence in downtown Buffalo.
"The public-private partnership formed by UB and Kaleida Health has enabled construction to continue, even in the face of severe state budget cuts," Simpson added. "Giving UB and all SUNY campuses the power to form these partnerships on a regular basis would advance economic development throughout our region and the entire state. This is a tangible example of why the legislature should support the Public Higher Education Empowerment and Innovation Act as proposed in the executive budget."
The $291 million combined facility will bring together Kaleida Health physicians and UB researchers in a collaborative effort to deliver state-of-the-art clinical care, produce major breakthroughs on the causes and treatment of vascular disease, and spin-off new biotechnology businesses and jobs.
The building will house four floors of Kaleida Health's $173 million merger of its cardiac, stroke and vascular operations, plus a new and expanded emergency department.
It will also house research and development facilities, including four floors for UB's $118 million Clinical and Translational Research Center (CTRC) and a UB Biosciences Incubator.
"Site-ready" work, which involves preparing the location at Ellicott and Goodrich Streets for full construction, is wrapping. This includes installation of steel piles, pile caps, pouring of the concrete foundations and foundation walls, as well as relocation of utilities.
Construction, which began Sept. 1, is expected to take approximately two years to complete, with doors opening in late 2011.
Turner Construction is serving as the construction manager for the project.