UT narrows down Dell Medical School location


Chelsea Purgahn

UT officials are considering a location near University Medical Center Brackenridge for the Dell School of Medicine. The medical school steering committee will continue to meet to make a more definite decision on the location.

Christine Ayala

UT officials are looking for possible locations for the new medical school facilities in the general Brackenridge area south of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.

UT spokesman Robert Cullick said the area that includes University Medical Center Brackenridge, which is owned by Central Health and leased to the Seton Healthcare Family, is under consideration because of the close proximity to the current medical center and the main campus.

“The University is intently looking at that area — looking at facilities that need to be constructed including education, administration and research facilities.” Cullick said. “They’re trying to decide where these things can go.”

Cullick said although the University has selected the prospective location, no decisions have been made for the school, which will be called the Dell School of Medicine.

“Something might go here and some years down the path another building could be built. It all will be part of the master plan that is being developed,” Cullick said.

Cullick said the master plan for the design and construction has not been fully developed by the University.

The UT System Board of Regents approved the medical school in May 2012. In November, Travis County voters approved a tax increase to help fund the school.

The school was named in honor of the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation following a $50 million donation announced Jan. 30.

Lisa Meyer, administrative associate to Robert Messing, the medical school steering committee chairman and recently hired vice provost for biomedical sciences, said although the location has not been specifically determined, the steering committee will meet several times in the coming week to make a more definite decision.

Cullick said the medical school and teaching hospital will work closely with Seton Healthcare Family, which is committing $250 million dollars to replace the University Medical Center Brackenridge, to have an equally up-to-date facility. UT’s medical school and teaching hospital will be funded by the UT System, although there is not yet an estimated cost.

“They will add more residency slots to provide more opportunities for students in the area to continue their education here,” Cullick said. “They currently have 200 students in residency and they would open it up a little more, and hopefully let in more UT students.”

Rosie Mendoza, chairwoman of the Central Health Board of Managers, said UT, Seton and Central Health are working to find an agreeable location through a memorandum of understanding between the entities. The Central Health board will meet with UT officials when the master plan has been developed.

“Our executive staff at Central Health has met with UT for the initial planning,” Mendoza said. “I think what they’re hoping for is to build a huge medical school campus, in one whole area. The specifics we do not know yet.”

Published on February 8, 2013 as "Med school site search narrows". 

This article was corrected after its original posting to clarify University Medical Center – Brackenridge is owned by Central Health and leased to Seton Healthcare Family.