Thursday, January 30, 2020

University of Iowa College of Pharmacy students returned for the spring 2020 semester to a new building that features cutting-edge research laboratories, collaborative learning spaces, and a UI Pharmaceuticals (UIP) sterile-product manufacturing unit.

College of Pharmacy Building dedication ceremony

The University of Iowa will dedicate the new University of Iowa College of Pharmacy building at a ceremony later in the spring. Iowa Now will publish details when available.

“Our plan to develop one of the nation’s foremost College of Pharmacy facilities has been realized,” says Donald Letendre, dean of the College of Pharmacy. “This new home will help transform education and science for decades to come.”

The new building is almost twice the size of the former one, with 228,371 square feet of space, and was built across the street at the former site of Quadrangle Residence Hall.

Among the new building’s many features are:

  • Twenty-three learning spaces, including classrooms, lecture halls, and conference and seminar rooms—10 more than in the former building;
  • Sixteen laboratory-science research spaces, five more than in the former building;
  • A Pharmacy Practice Learning Center that includes a mock hospital pharmacy and a mock community pharmacy;
  • A 128-seat, team-based learning lecture hall with three 220-inch projection screens and space to allow students to collaborate in teams; and
  • Academic community rooms (known as PODS) for student studying and gathering.

“The research space in the new building is efficient, versatile, and highly functional—far beyond what was available in the previous building,” says Jonathan Doorn, professor and division head of the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Experimental Therapeutics. “Lab space is well defined yet open and spacious, and therefore, invites collaboration among both faculty and students.”

The lower level of the building will house two sterile production lines, a warehouse, a vault to store controlled substances, and office space for UIP. The spaces will increase sterile product capacity five-fold and allow UIP to retain customers through all phases of drug development, as well as attract new customers.

UIP’s capacity will more than double thanks to the new building. Non-sterile production will remain in the former building, which has been renamed the Pharmaceutical Sciences Research Building.

College of Pharmacy Building by the numbers

October 2014: Board of Regents, State of Iowa, approves plans
July 2016: Demolition of Quadrangle Residence Hall begins
March 2017: Building construction begins
Building size: 228,371 square feet
Floors: 7, plus mezzanine and lower level
Learning spaces: 23
Construction team man-hours: 278,229
Blueprints and plans: 7,500 square feet
Truckloads of rebar delivered: 800
Concrete: 11,000 cubic yards weighing 44,000,000 pounds
Glass: More than 1,000 panes weighing almost 240,000 pounds

The north wing of the former building has been named the Health Sciences Wing and will receive minor renovations to create office space for College of Medicine, College of Nursing, and College of Public Health occupants currently housed in Westlawn. The Office of the Registrar also will utilize existing classrooms as centrally scheduled university classrooms.

The sixth floor of the new College of Pharmacy Building will remain unfinished for the time being, set aside for future growth.

The new building also incorporates a variety of strategies to promote universal design, a concept that recognizes and attempts to accommodate the broadest possible spectrum of human ability. Some of those elements include built-in hearing loops in some of the spaces that will broadcast directly to a person’s hearing device and height-adjustable work surfaces.

“The new facilities will enable me and other students to gain hands-on pharmacist experience in a simulated environment that mirrors real practice,” says Rebecca McCaughey, who is pursuing a PharmD degree. “One of the most coveted luxuries of the new building is ample study and community spaces where we can learn together and continue to grow our Iowa pharmacy family.”