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UNLV’s new medical education building hits halfway point

Construction on UNLV’s new medical education building has reached the halfway point ahead of schedule and below budget, and the facility should be ready for occupancy in late June 2022.

As many as 300 peole involved with the project attended a topping-off ceremony Friday.

“It signifies the halfway point of this incredible project,” Maureen Schafer, president and CEO of the Nevada Health and Bioscience Corp., which is overseeing the project, told reporters Wednesday during a construction site tour.

The Kirk Kerkorian School of Medicine at UNLV opened in 2017 and graduated its first class of 50 students in May.

The medical education building — the school’s first permanent facility — is under construction on a 9-acre parcel on Shadow Lane in the Las Vegas Medical District. Ground was broken in October.

The approximately 135,000-square-foot building is being funded by public and private money, including more than $150 million in committed private donations. Originally, $25 million in state funding for the project was cut due to the COVID-19 pandemic; it later was restored.

During Wednesday’s tour, Schafer said, “As you can see right now, this is just the bones of the building.”

Loay Hanthel, senior project manager for M.J. Dean Construction, said contractors, subcontractors and workers all are locals.

Once completed, the second, third and fourth floors will each include classrooms, a digital library and breakout rooms. The fifth floor will house medical school administration and faculty and include conference areas.

The facility will allow for accommodating new ideas in the future, Schafer said, adding, “This building was built to be flexible.”

It will also provide more space, allowing the school to gradually increase its class size from 60 students currently to up to 120.

“That just means more doctors for this community,” Schafer said.

Contact Julie Wootton-Greener at jgreener@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-2921. Follow @julieswootton on Twitter.

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