TAMPA, FL — University of South Florida medical students had to take a new route when returning to class Monday following the winter break. Instead of heading to north Tampa and the USF campus, they headed to downtown Tampa and the newly opened College of Medicine.
The new 13-story USF Health Morsani College of Medicine and Heart Institute located in the $3 billion Water Street Tampa development in downtown Tampa officially opened Jan. 8 following a five-year construction project. The 395,000-square-foot facility was built to accommodate 1,800 students, faculty and staff.
“The Morsani College of Medicine is simply the most exciting building in the Tampa Bay region,” said USF President Steve Currall. “It is so much more than a shiny new building that serves as an anchor of the impressive Water Street region. This Morsani College of Medicine is a human capital magnet that will attract world-class physicians, researchers and students to carry out trailblazing discoveries and deliver creative health education. And let us even dream that, someday in the future, research carried out in this building will be worthy of a Nobel Prize.”
“For decades, green and gold have been woven into the fabric of our community,” said Tampa Mayor Jane Castor. “And now we’re so excited to welcome USF into the heart of the City of Tampa. The USF Health Morsani College of Medicine and Heart Institute will continue USF’s legacy as a leader in STEM, research and innovation…and this state-of-the-art facility will attract the best and brightest from around the world to our very own city.
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The Morsani College of Medicine is the first tenant of the new building. Heart Institute researchers will begin their phased move-in February. The Taneja College of Pharmacy is tentatively set to begin classes in the new building this fall.
Plans for the new USF medical school began in 2011 when Tampa philanthropists Carol and Frank Morsani gave USF $20 million for a new education center for USF Health. Over the next five years, the Florida Legislature provided approximately $110 million toward the new building‘s construction cost.