With growth in both medicine and dental medicine class sizes capped due to physical limitations in current classrooms, the J. Harold Harrison, M.D. Education Commons building will ensure that GRU can meet the medical and dental needs of our state’s ever-growing population.
Consider this: Georgia ranks in the top 10 among all states both in population and population growth, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, but only 40th in the number of physicians per capita.
For the state's health sciences university, those numbers are just not acceptable. In 2009, the Medical College of Georgia at Georgia Regents University and the University System of Georgia began working toward solving this dilemma. MCG is central to the University System of Georgia’s plan to boost medical class enrollment 60 percent by 2020. Current classroom space limits our ability to grow our class size. Incoming classes are at 190, but we need to increase that number to 300 by the year 2020 to help meet the need for physicians in this state.
The J. Harold Harrison, M.D. Education Commons is a four-story, $62 million project that will allow us to meet that need. The 110,000-gross-square-foot building will house specialized teaching and administrative space for students at the Medical College of Georgia and the College of Dental Medicine. It will feature two large auditoriums holding up to 300, three medium 120-person capacity classrooms, several smaller classrooms and 1,150-square-feet for administrative space. The commons building will be located on 4.5 acres of the former Gilbert Manor property, alongside the university’s new College of Dental Medicine facility. It will also be designed and situated in this location in a manner that will allow for future expansion, if necessary.
This project also includes the renovation of the gross anatomy lab in the Carl T. Sanders Research and Education building. This renovation accounts for roughly $6.2 million of the total estimated project cost.
The unprecedented expansion of medical and dental education will allow GRU to carry on its mission of improving health and reducing the burden of illness on society well into the new millennium.
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