The capital campaign to establish a new home for the KU School of Medicine-Salina in downtown Salina has hit its goal.
According to the Salina Regional Health Foundation, recent contributions to the Blueprint for Rural Health campaign have met and exceeded the original $7,563,000 goal. Campaign contributions total $7,604,350 to date. The giving includes a $2 million lead gift from the Dane G. Hansen Foundation, Logan, Kansas.
“It’s unbelievable how the community has embraced our program since inception and now in this new endeavor,” said William Cathcart-Rake, KU School of Medicine–Salina dean. “We couldn’t be more grateful for all the support we’ve received and we couldn’t be more excited to see what this new campus will mean for the school and its students. We look forward to finding ways we can expand our services to advance medical education in the state.”
Interior demolition of the former bank building located at 138 N. Santa Fe Ave. began last fall. New construction inside the facility will soon be underway and the project is scheduled for opening in June 2018 to welcome the incoming class of 2022. Many recognize the project as one of the first of a long list of redevelopment efforts underway in downtown Salina.
“Salina Regional Health Center, the medical community, and the KU Endowment Association have all played an important role, as have many businesses, organizations, foundations and individuals in our regional community to make this campaign a success,” said Tom Martin, Salina Regional Health Foundation executive director. “However, it is important to
note that we continue to encourage donations to the campaign. The goal was based on original building project estimates, and it’s quite possible that actual expenses could exceed estimates.”
The new facility will provide 40,251 square feet of space, which more than doubles the current campus space located on Salina Regional Health Center’s hospital campus. The additional space is needed to address curriculum changes that go into effect this year, which require more small group work and different types of classroom and lab space. The additional space also could accommodate possible future expansion of class sizes, which are currently capped at eight students per year.
The KU-Salina campus opened its doors for its first class of students in July 2011 with the mission of providing a quality education in a rural setting with hope that many graduates might one day enter practice in rural Kansas. The vision is an effort to address physician shortages in rural Kansas. Ninety-seven of the 105 counties in Kansas are considered medically underserved and as of 2013, 34 counties reported two or fewer primary care physicians.
Of the first 16 students to graduate from the KU-Salina program, 11 have entered primary care residencies and most plan to practice in Kansas once training is complete.
Donnie Marrs with DMA Architects, Salina, is providing architectural services for the project. Busboom and Rauh Construction is the general contractor managing the construction.