A $187-million medical college building in downtown Phoenix is moving forward despite the sudden pullout of one of two universities responsible for the project.

U of A to Break Ground on 5-Story Downtown Phoenix Building

Renamed to reflect the solo university in control, the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix had planned to break ground on the 268,000-sq-ft, five-story Health Science and Education Building this month, after a long-postponed review by the Arizona Legislature finally gave it a green light to proceed. Due to partner Arizona State University’s departure, construction of the concrete and steel structure clad in glass and copper may be put off by a couple of months to finalize funding, most of which will come from bonds to be repaid by future Arizona Lottery revenue, says Al Bravo, associate director of public affairs for the College of Medicine.

The joint venture of the Phoenix office of DPR Construction and Sundt Construction Inc., Tempe, Ariz., is expected to complete the project by August 2012, expanding the campus from 48 to 120 students. Several other projects are in planning, including a 25,000-sq-ft vivarium that received $15 million in federal stimulus funding from the National Institutes of Health in February and should be completed at the same time as the health sciences building, says Dave Harris, senior project manager for the campus.

The building was designed by CO Architects, Los Angeles and the Tempe office of Ayers Saint Gross Architects.

Both universities receive funding from the state through the Arizona Board of Regents. However, ASU’s pullout allows it to use funds to support other programs at risk of being cut due to state budget shortfalls.