2013 / September

Medical and Graduate Education Building Breaks Ground

Medical and Graduate Education Building Breaks Ground

September 18, 2013

On September 16, Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) broke ground on its new Medical and Graduate Education Building, a crucial resource for the future of education at the College of Physicians and Surgeons (P&S). The 14-story, state-of-the-art glass tower will be located at 104 Haven Avenue, and is expected to open to students in spring 2016.

“Our top priority was to create the best possible educational building for the best medical students in the country,” said CUMC Dean Lee Goldman, M.D. “This building symbolizes why most medical and graduate students come to Columbia.”

After the groundbreaking, a ceremony was held on campus to celebrate the new building with faculty, students, staff, and friends of CUMC. The event recognized three lead donors whose generosity made the new building possible: Diana and Roy Vagelos, M.D.; Cheryl and Philip Milstein; and Helen and Clyde Wu, M.D., whose niece, June Wu, M.D., a P&S alumna and faculty member in the Department of Surgery, attended on behalf of the Wu family.

“A great institution can maintain its leadership only through a deep commitment to innovation, and the advanced learning resources available at the Medical and Graduate Education Building will give our students the knowledge and specialized research skills to keep pushing the frontiers of medicine,” said Dr. Vagelos, chairman of CUMC’s Board of Advisors and a graduate of P&S.

Philip Milstein, chair of the Board of Advisor’s Capital Planning Committee, also spoke at the ceremony. “There is no higher priority than training the future leaders of medicine,” he said. “This facility offers our students cutting-edge educational resources while establishing a true academic home at the medical center that will improve the campus environment for everyone who sets foot here.”

Other speakers at the event included Dr. June Wu; Liz Diller, lead architect of the building’s design; Kenneth Forde (P&S’59), M.D., Jose M. Ferrer Professor Emeritus of Clinical Surgery, Trustee of Columbia University, and Chair of the Health Sciences Committee; Gina Farias-Eisner, a medical student at P&S; and Austen Sitko, a graduate student at Columbia University.

The building will advance every aspect of medical and graduate education, with a modern, environmentally responsible design that supports team-based learning. With feedback from five planning committees of students, faculty, and staff, architects Diller Scofidio + Renfro have created a unique design to optimally support Columbia’s intense medical and graduate education, facilitating collaboration between P&S medical and graduate students. Gensler is the building’s executive architect.

Demolition of a preexisting structure at 104 Haven Avenue was completed in early 2013. During demolition, and in preparation for construction, Columbia has used clean building techniques, including air and dust mitigation, and noise monitoring. These measures are part of a comprehensive strategy of environmental sustainability throughout the life of the project. CUMC is dedicated to minimizing the impact on our neighbors, and has received positive feedback from the local community board on our efforts. We are committed to an open dialogue with our neighbors as we move into the next phase of the project.

To learn more about this exciting effort, please contact Marissa Nemirofsky, campaign manager, at (212) 342-0094 and man2136@columbia.edu.