Why Miami is moving closer to new $96M health science building

Miami University will expand its main campus after officials announced their latest action toward building a $96 million health science building.

The new building will be constructed near Miami’s Health Services Center 421 S. Campus Ave. on the school’s main Oxford campus.

Miami’s governing board of trustees voted unanimously last week to authorize $4.5 million for pre-construction services for the new building. This follows the work completed by the school last year on the cost, feasibility and early site selection for the project, said school officials.

When the new health science building is completed in 2022, it will be the first new academic campus building since the 2009 opening of the 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.

“A new health science building will increase cross-disciplinary collaboration and sustain Miami’s cutting-edge academic excellence,” said Miami University President Gregory Crawford in a statement released after a Friday presentation during the school’s board of trustees meeting.

And, he added, “preparing students for growing careers helps expand the Ohio economy.”

The school said in a news release that “health care programs are growing at Miami.”

“Last year, Miami expanded its successful nursing program to Oxford from regional campuses in Hamilton and Middletown, and the program has grown to 80 students this fall. Miami also has plans for a physician assistant program to start in 2022,” according to the school statement.

“A new academic building located on the Oxford campus close to the existing health services center will promote collaboration with existing health programs including kinesiology and health and speech pathology and audiology.”

Funding sources would include state capital funds, sponsorship or naming opportunities, existing budgets and newly issued bonds.

The planned infrastructure addition comes amid other changes at Miami, which is Butler County’s largest employer.

The start of school last month saw students move into residences halls that underwent renovations. Richard Hall now has 213 beds, and the hall has nine new sorority suites (five large and four small) and received a new tile roof during the summer break.

MacCracken Hall now has 175 beds and seven new sorority suites, six large suites and one small suite.

A key part of the renovation of Richard and MacCracken halls was to make them more accessible, said officials. This included ramps, accessible student rooms, updated bathrooms and larger elevators.

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