Marquette Breaks Ground on New Building
$18.5 million building for Physician Assistant program MU hopes will become tops in the nation.
Despite the rain, Marquette University ceremonially got to work on constructing a new home for their Physician Assistant Studies program Wednesday morning.
Under cover of a large tent, university President Michael Lovell and other leaders ceremonially tossed dirt with their golden shovels and got the long-anticipated project underway.
The $18.5-million, 44,000-square-foot building is scheduled to open next summer at 17th and Clybourn, on the southwest corner of the university’s campus. It comes not a moment too soon for the fast-growing program.
Program chair MaryJo Wiemiller drew a laugh at the ceremony when she said it feels like just yesterday the program moved into their “temporary” home at 1700 W. Wells St., but in fact, it was 20 years ago.
The university reports that 1,400 applicants applied to enter the master’s program last year, and growth continues annually at a 10 percent clip. The program currently accepts 55 students a year.
“It’s really about transformation, not doing the same old thing,” said Board of Trustees chair Owen J. Sullivan.
Currently, the PA program works with clinical partners at more than 400 sites. Partners include Aurora Health Care; Froedtert and the Medical College of Wisconsin; Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin; ProHealth Care; Ascension; Prevea Health; and others. Wiemiller noted that since the new building was announced another 40 sites have been added.
It’s far from the only project underway on the campus. “One of the things I heard the other day was Marquette was changing the logo from the golden eagle to the crane,” joked Sullivan.
Construction has hit the home stretch on the Robert A. Wild, S.J. Commons, a $96-million, 890-bed residence hall just a couple blocks north of the PA building. At the opposite end of the campus, foundation work is just getting started at 733 N. 12th St. for the new Athletic and Human Performance Research Center.
Marquette has owned the PA building site at 1710 W. Clybourn St. since at least 1985 according to city records. In early 2016, a small garage was demolished.
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