Some History: Why We Are Growing
The most significant campus expansion effort in the history of the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences is under way.
Work has started on a series of projects worth more than $400 million that include a 540,000-square-foot addition to UAMS Medical Center, the new Psychiatric Research Institute, a new residence hall, a parking deck and a power plant as well as expansions to the Jones Eye Institute and the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute.
The campus expansion effort will continue beyond 2010 and include UAMS assisting the state with construction of a new State Hospital west of campus. In return, the Arkansas State Hospital provided the land where the residence hall is located and some state hospital buildings to be given to UAMS to house its College of Health Related Professions when the new State Hospital is ready.
"This will be one of the largest construction initiatives in Arkansas since they built the series of navigational locks on the Arkansas River in the 1960s," said UAMS Chancellor I. Dodd Wilson, M.D. "We are going to transform the campus by expanding and improving our clinical, research and education services."
In his 2005 State of the Campus address, Wilson said solid financial statements, an increase in student enrollment and exponential growth in federal research grants has made UAMS fiscally ready for the ambitious expansion project. The expansion also is needed to meet the rising demand for health care services and the need to graduate more health care professionals.
In addition, he said, upgrading the hospital as it sits alongside UAMS' other centers of excellence such as the Jones Eye Institute, the Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging and the Jackson T. Stephens Spine & Neurosciences Institute is critical to retaining the reputation of world-class care that draws patients from every state in the U.S. and more than 50 foreign countries.
"Why would you have all these wonderful facilities and a 50-year-old hospital?" Wilson asked during the state of the campus presentation. "The critical time is now because these programs will deteriorate without expansion and replacement."