Groundbreaking for Research Building at URMC

Groundbreaking for Research Building at URMC

News 8s Jecoliah Ellis reports that the CTSB will mean jobs and medical advances.
 The shovels are in the dirt, which means 1,400 jobs are on their way. 

University of Rochester broke ground on a $76.4 million building project Monday.  It's called the Clinical and Translational Science Institute.  To most of us that doesn't mean anything.  But what does mean something is it’s expected to create 600 permanent medical and research jobs, as well as 830 construction jobs. 

"This will be a building that pulls all researchers and doctors together into one facility.  And by doing that and having a chance for them to learn from each other we think we'll be just that more efficient," said Joel Seligman, University of Rochester President.

The institute will focus on applying research, in a sense taking it to the next level.  "We focus on how we take that basic research and apply it to real world problems like the cervical cancer vaccine to give one of many illustrations," said Seligman.

The state committed $50 million towards the construction of the building.  State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver says projects like these put Rochester and New York on the map.  "It's important for us to invest in the economy to invest in diversity and jobs and opportunity," said Silver.

The U of R Medical Center, while small, has always been an innovator in medical research.  The Clinical and Translational Science building is the first of its kind in the nation. 

Building a Project of This Magnitude Now

"This project will happen.  No if, ands or buts.  It's going to happen and it will happen as quickly as we can do it," said Seligman.

U of R President Joel Seligman is frustrated with our nation's financial crisis.  "The numbers that I worry about are not stock market numbers but unemployment numbers.  We saw it grow to 6.1%.  I'm fearful it's going to grow again," said Seligman.

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver says there's no way they'd pull funding on the project.  "In these difficult economic times you invest capital money.  You create construction jobs and by doing so you create permanent jobs that ultimately create revenue for the state of New York," said Seligman.

The U of R Medical Center plans to pour the concrete soon.  But the project may be slightly delayed.  The university has to borrow money to start construction.  "We need the credit markets to be unseized so that will be in a situation where we can cover short term bills," said Seligman.

In these tough times, one of the state's most powerful leaders promises to not abandon upstate
New York.  "It would be an enormous mistake not to make the investment that will transform and revitalize the upstate economy," said Seligman.

     The new science building may be finished by 2010.  That of course depends on how soon the u of r gets a loan to start construction.

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