Miami to build $96M academic building, first in more than a decade

The governing board of trustees at Miami University recently approved the construction of a $96 million health science building, which will be the first new academic building constructed on the Oxford campus in 11 years. Seen here in a Miami illustration of the project, the building is scheduled to open in 2022 near 421 South Campus Ave. (Provided Illustration/Journal-News)

The first new academic building in years on Miami University’s main Oxford campus will soon be taking shape.

The governing board of trustees recently approved the construction of a $96 million health science building that will include renovations of Harris Hall, which will temporarily house the school’s health services center during construction.

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“Miami’s new clinical health and wellness building will provide opportunities for synergies among several health-related programs at Miami,” said Miami President Gregory Crawford.

The new center, which will be the first new academic building on the campus in more than a decade and will be located near 421 South Campus Ave., will also help expand “new health degrees, such as a physician’s assistant program, being developed under Miami’s Boldly Creative initiative,” said Crawford.

“Students and faculty will benefit from having nursing, physician’s assistant, speech pathology and audiology programs in one building, along with the university’s existing health services center,” he said.

And “enhancement of facilities and programs allows Miami to respond to growing needs in Ohio’s health care workforce,” said Crawford.

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The new health and wellness building is projected to be done by 2022 and will be the new addition to the campus since the opening in 2009 of the opening of the Miami Farmer School of Business.

The 170,000-square-foot building is needed, said school officials, as health care education programs at Miami’s regional campuses in Hamilton and Middletown expand onto the school’s main campus.

According to a statement released by Miami officials, the school’s “nursing and speech pathology and audiology programs continue to grow, and the Boldly Creative academic development fund has awarded funding to establish a physician’s assistant program on the Oxford campus.”

“Co-locating clinical health programs in a health corridor anchored by the new center will increase learning opportunities for students.

“Funding sources would include state capital funds, sponsorship or naming opportunities, existing budgets and newly issued bonds. Trustees authorized the issue of bonds up to $125 million for multiple projects,” said officials.

In another move to expand health programming at Miami, trustees also approved spending up to $10 million to renovate University Hall on the Hamilton campus for classrooms and high-fidelity simulation and skills laboratory space for Miami’s nursing program.

The nursing program expanded to Oxford last year and continues to thrive at Miami Regionals. Construction will be completed in early in 2021.

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