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PHILADELPHIA-Temple University has broken ground for the $150-million, 480,000-sf Temple University School of Medicine. It is the largest construction project in the university’s history and the first medical school building to be constructed on the North Philadelphia campus in 40 years.

The university owns the site of a former parking lot on N. Broad Street between Venango and Tioga streets. The new 11-story building will contain 249,000 sf of laboratory space for research; a 50,000-sf library; an all-glass tower of stacked, multi-purpose rooms; 16 flexible learning spaces, and a café and lobby. There will also be an interior atrium and usable outdoor space on a raised plaza on Broad Street, and a third-floor bridge that will cross Tioga Street and connect with existing teaching and research facilities. Locally based Ballinger Inc. is the architect.

Funding is split evenly among three sources: $50 million from the state, $50 million from a university bond issue and the final $50 million from the School of Medicine. Most of the latter component has been raised, a university spokeswoman tells GlobeSt.com, “although we are still fund-raising.”

Independence Blue Cross has provided $3.5 million to support heart research. Another $1 million is from Cephalon, a Fraser-based pharmaceutical company, and $1.8 million, including a pledge of more than $1 million from professor emeritus Kenneth Cundy and his wife Elsie, is from the school of medicine’s faculty and staff.

The building will be the school of medicine’s primary teaching and research facility. Research funding has increased 36% from $32.4 million in 2002 to $44.1 million this year. The facility is scheduled to open in May 2009, and at that time, the school will add 100 more faculty scientists to its current 260.

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