Skills lab and elevators next phase of construction

Updates of the School’s facilities will continue beginning this spring. Phase two of construction includes renovating the building’s elevators and moving the Youngblood Skills Lab from the basement of the SOM building across the street to the parking complex on the ground level next to Quizno’s Restaurant.

The new skills lab will be larger with three lab spaces and a mock operating room for training activities, two classrooms, and four standardized patient exam rooms. Construction should begin by May with the facility completed and opened in its new location early this fall.

The other component to phase two will be the complete renovation of the SOM’s three elevators. Construction should begin in April and take a year. All of the working parts and cars and the two public elevators will go to the basement level once renovation is complete. Only one elevator will be out of service at a time. Phase two construction is estimated to cost $2.6 million and will be funded from School reserves.

“We have worked out a detailed plan that let us systematically proceed while learning and work continues. It requires us to work in stages and work to keep the noise and disruption to a minimum,” said Mark Mikkelsen, director of business affairs.

Once the skills lab is relocated, some fifth floor units will be moved to the basement level to empty space on the fifth floor for the third phase of construction. That involves renovating the northeast quadrant of the fifth floor for research lab space.

When the research space is completed labs will move to the fifth floor and the building of new docent areas on third floor can begin. “The new computer lab and Red Docent Unit 3 were our first phase of construction. We have heard great feedback from Red 3 project and plan to duplicate it with the other docent units,” Mikkelsen added.

The need to renovate the current SOM building and build a new health sciences building is in the “Top Tier” of capital projects for UMKC and the UM System. The new building would provide educational and support space for the SOM and the other health science schools.

“Funding for higher education capital improvements has been very limited the last few years. We decided to start the renovations and anticipate that additional capital funding will become available in the next few years. Funding for research lab renovations are in our ongoing capital campaign,” said Mikkelsen

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