Governor Cuomo Announces Milestone "Topping Off" at University of Buffalo Jacobs School of Medicine

March 22, 2016

From the office of Governor Cuomo

Major Construction Milestone Reached at University’s Eight-Story, 628,000 Square-Foot Medical Campus

Expansive Project Marks Largest Medical Education Building Currently Under Construction in the Nation

State-of-the-Art Facility on Schedule to be Completed in 2017; New Campus Will Bring More Than 2,000 Students, Faculty & Staff to the Heart of Downtown Buffalo

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today celebrated the milestone "Topping Off" at the University at Buffalo’s Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. The Governor signed a steel beam that was raised and placed atop the eight-story, 628,000-square-foot facility which is expected to be completed in 2017. The project marks the largest such medical education building currently under construction in the nation. Upon completion, the new medical campus will bring more than 2,000 students, faculty and staff to the heart of downtown Buffalo.

"This new medical campus will further cement the University of Buffalo’s position as a national leader in the delivery of quality, affordable healthcare," Governor Cuomo said. "By moving this state-of-the-art facility downtown, we will continue to transform this city into a thriving, vibrant hub for 21st century medicine, research and technology. This project will strengthen the Western New York economy while better connecting thousands of students and faculty with world-class research and development opportunities for decades to come."

Satish K. Tripathi, President of the University of Buffalo, said: "Putting the final beam into place for the new medical school building signals the successful completion of the steel construction phase of what is an extraordinary project for the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, the university and the city of Buffalo. We started moving toward this day back in December 2011 when Governor Cuomo and Chancellor Zimpher approved NYSUNY 2020. The vision that we shared then of bringing the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences downtown to partner with hospitals and research facilities on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus everyday becomes more of a reality."

Michael Cain, MD, Vice President for Health Sciences and Dean of the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, said: "This milestone would never have been reached if it weren’t for the enthusiastic participation of a very broad range of stakeholders whose collaboration on this signals a dramatic turning point in the region. We are building a physical and symbolic landmark on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, establishing the region’s first comprehensive academic medical center, transforming Buffalo into a destination for the best medical research, education and patient care."

A rendering of the facility can be found here.

The downtown medical campus is expected to generate both immediate and long-term economic benefits to the city of Buffalo. Once completed, the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences will bring 2,000 UB faculty, staff and students to downtown Buffalo, increasing population density in the city while providing opportunities for retail and housing development, incubators, research parks and more.

The new building will allow UB to expand its medical school class size from 140 to 180 students and add 100 new physician-scientists to the UB faculty, many of whom are recruited from the world’s top medical institutions.

With steel construction complete, the new building will soon add a permanent roof and more than 300 windows. Beginning this summer, workers will install the building’s outer envelope, including its terra cotta exterior, which was selected to complement the region’s rich architectural heritage. The building design was produced by HOK, a global design, architecture, engineering and planning firm who was selected for the project by the university in 2012.

To date, roughly 300 workers are employed at the construction site each day, marking the largest construction project in the university’s 170-year history. That number is only expected to grow in the coming months as more workers are employed to finish the building’s expansive interior. Estimated women and minority business enterprise participation for the first phase of the project is 24.7 percent, and 20.2 percent for the project’s second phase.

The Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences will facilitate collaboration with physicians and scientists at UB’s Clinical and Translational Research Center, the Kaleida Health-Gates Vascular Institute, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, John R. Oishei Children’s Hospital, Buffalo General Medical Center and the Hauptman-Woodward Medical Research Institute.

The facility puts superior medical education, clinical care and pioneering research in close proximity, anchoring Buffalo’s evolving comprehensive academic health center in a vibrant downtown setting. The medical campus will better enable the school to advance health and wellness across the life span for the people of New York and the world through research, clinical care and the education of tomorrow’s leaders in health care and biomedical sciences.

The new medical campus at the University of Buffalo is made possible in part by Jeremy M. Jacobs, his wife and their family who donated $30 million to advance the project in 2015. In recognition of Jacobs’ tremendous service and philanthropy to the university, the UB medical school will be named the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.

Congressman Brian Higgins said: "The Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus is continuing to grow and we are thrilled to see UB’s presence there grow with it. The interconnectivity that UB Medical School and the entire BNMC provides between research, education and health care delivers jobs and economic development for Western New York but also delivers great promise for the future of medicine."

Senator Tim Kennedy said: "As Buffalo continues to undergo an economic resurgence, the partnerships that have formed in the process are the binding elements that will further transform the future of our city. By celebrating the topping out ceremony of the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Science, we are also celebrating the opportunity that will be fostered between the school and so many leading hospitals and pioneer research facilities located in the medical corridor. I’m grateful to the University at Buffalo for having this vision, and to Governor Cuomo and New York State for helping to see it into reality."

Assemblyman Sean Ryan said: "Congratulations to officials from the University at Buffalo on this momentous occasion. The new UB medical school will be a great asset for the City of Buffalo and our entire region. My thanks go out to the hundreds of construction workers who have put in the hard work to make this great day possible."

Assemblywoman Crystal Peoples-Stokes said: "The final beam serves as a metaphor for the medical corridor's continued rapid growth and coordination of services. The Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at the University at Buffalo will bring 2,000 UB faculty, staff and students to downtown Buffalo. The $375 million medical school highlights the continued public and private sector investment in the medical corridor. I applaud Governor Cuomo, President Tripathi, and Dean Cain on making today a reality."

Mayor Byron Brown said: "Today’s topping-off ceremony at the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences Building is a magnificent milestone. In just two years, the $375 million construction project has entered the home stretch. University at Buffalo’s growing presence in downtown Buffalo is bringing a new strength to the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus as a center of learning, economic growth and a new opportunity for all city residents. I congratulate Governor Andrew Cuomo and UB President Satish Tripathi on today’s achievement and for helping us continue the positive momentum that’s occurring right now in Buffalo as we continue to revitalize all of our neighborhoods and further improve the lives of all of our residents."

Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz said: "Erie County's transformation into a medical- and health sciences hot spot on the national scene continues to grow as the new Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Research becomes a reality. It's been a long way from the drawing board to placing the final steel beams on this transformational project, but the transformational effect this new facility will have on our workforce, our County and City, and our reputation will be long lasting. I thank Governor Cuomo, the UB Medical School, and all the partners involved for their vision in getting this done."

About the State University of New York
The State University of New York is the largest comprehensive system of higher education in the United States, and more than 95 percent of all New Yorkers live within 30 miles of any one of SUNY’s 64 colleges and universities. Across the system, SUNY has four academic health centers, five hospitals, four medical schools, two dental schools, a law school, the country’s oldest school of maritime, the state’s only college of optometry, and manages one US Department of Energy National Laboratory. In total, SUNY serves about 1.4 million students amongst its entire portfolio of credit- and non-credit-bearing courses and programs, continuing education, and community outreach programs. SUNY oversees nearly a quarter of academic research in New York. Research expenditures system-wide are nearly $1.1 billion in fiscal year 2023, including significant contributions from students and faculty. There are more than three million SUNY alumni worldwide, and one in three New Yorkers with a college degree is a SUNY alum. To learn more about how SUNY creates opportunities, visit

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