On Tuesday, the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine broke ground on their new 100,000 square foot, $45 million education building, completion of which scheduled for 2009. Construction will begin next year.
Named after its chief benefactors, the S. Anne and C. Michael Armstrong Medical Education Building is the first medical education building that the School of Medicine has built in over a quarter-century.
"The reason [the building] is being built now is because there's been a convergence of forces that have propelled everyone, the major one being the completion of the Human Genome Project," said Dr. David Nichols, vice dean for education at the School of Medicine.
"Also the societal focus of medical education on patient/doctor communications, chronic disease management and the demographics of diversity in America right now are forcing a change in medical education," Nichols said.
Accordingly he noted, the School of Medicine has designed a new curriculum, which they "then mapped out in an architectural structure."
The facility will serve as a "front door" to the School of Medicine, Edward Miller, CEO of the medical faculty, said. The building will be used to house a range of services, including physician training, genetics and medical imaging and patient communications programs.
"We want the building to be able to accommodate 150 medical students and 30 graduate students per class each year," Nichols said.
Within the four-story building, the first floor will hold lecture halls, the second will contain teaching labs and computing operations, the third will hold the Advisory Colleges, and the fourth is designed for anatomy labs.
Included in the building's structural focus on medical education will be a lecture hall with space for 380 students, lab space for different sized groups and study space. Classrooms will be equipped with digital communication technology, which will allow students to access network data. Virtual microscopy, an upgrade from traditional microscope technology, will assist students by projecting images on high-resolution monitors.
Construction of the facility will begin next year. "We're still in the process of schematic design and getting contractors hired," Nichols said.