University of South Florida just took the wraps off the new USF Health Morsani College of Medicine and Heart Institute.
USF officials and guests cut the ribbon on the 13-story, 395,000-square-foot facility in downtown Tampa. It is a key anchor for Strategic Property Partners’ $3 billion Water Street Tampa development.
“We’re proud to be Water Street pioneers, opening our doors first and helping to bring this new neighborhood to life,” said Dr. Charles Lockwood, senior vice president for USF Health and dean of the Morsani College of Medicine.
See highlights from the ceremonial opening below.
The Wednesday morning ceremony followed years of planning, beginning in 2011 when Tampa philanthropists Carol and Frank Morsani donated $20 million for an education center at USF Health. In 2014, Tampa Bay Lighting owner Jeff Vinik, through Strategic Property Partners, donated an acre of land for the facility. Over the next five years, the Florida Legislature provided about $110 million for the new building’s construction.
“That is the largest such state investment in any university facility in the history of the [Florida] Board of Governors or the state university system,” said Jordan Zimmerman, chair of the USF Board of Trustees.
The academic, research and economic significance of the project will be felt for generations to come, said Steve Currall, USF president.
“This Morsani College is a human capital magnet which will attract world-class physicians, researchers and students to carry out trail-blazing discoveries and deliver creative new health education. Let us even dream, that maybe someday in the future research carried out in this building will be worthy of a Nobel Prize,” Currall said. “By generating a substantial increase in research funding the Morsani College will be a key driver of economic activity in our region. For every $1 of National Institutes of Health funding that we secure, that will result in $2.35 in local economic activity.”
The first medical classes begin on Monday, Jan. 13. Heart Institute researchers will begin moving in in February, with the physician assistant program moving the following year, in May 2021. The Taneja College of Pharmacy is tentatively scheduled to begin classes in fall 2020.
USF Health is sharing the facility with Tampa General hospital and collaborating on cardiology, urgent care, imaging and executive wellness.