UNT College of Pharmacy breaks ground for construction of new building

UNT College of Pharmacy breaks ground for construction of new building

UNT's College of Pharmacy had a ceremony to celebrate the construction of a new Interprofessional Research and Education Building expected in 2018.

UNT College of Pharmacy breaks ground for construction of new building
October 28
11:03 2016

Students and faculty lined up on Camp Bowie Boulevard in Fort Worth Tuesday evening for the groundbreaking ceremony of the new UNT College of Pharmacy building.

Optimism was abound as faculty and staff lifted shovels to mark the beginning of construction. The new pharmacy research building is projected to open in November 2018.

“It’s a 173,000 square foot building with three floors of research,” Janna Morgan, UNT Systems Senior Project Manager, said. “It will house the College of Pharmacy faculty, as well as better classrooms and new technology for research.”

The students of the College of Pharmacy now have access to what is called “active learning classrooms.” Morgan said these new classrooms no longer have a set front of the room and utilizes the full space of the room for interactive displays and collaborative work.

Students such as Vincent Nguyen, a first year pharmacy student, are excited for the new opportunity that is being provided to those pursuing a degree in pharmacy. Nguyen said the new facility will provide students with a new and improved way of learning.

“We’re excited to be the first students to step into it,” Nguyen said. “There will be 40 percent more space for research and increased opportunity to practice.”

Nguyen and his classmates are optimistic about the new space that will be available to them for research and studying. It’ll be a relief since they are currently studying under cramped conditions.

“We share a building with physical therapy and several office spaces,” Mivielis Rivera, a first year pharmacy student, said. “There are two classrooms and one lab for almost 300 students.”

To Riveria and her peers, this new building means more space to collaborate and increase awareness of UNT’s pharmacy school. Having a building larger than the UNT Health and Sciences Center will increase attention and curiosity towards the program.

“There will be more space to share ideas and skills while learning,” Rivera said. “The new technology and learning environment will keep adapting with times.”

Pharmacy is an ever growing and changing field as we learn more about human health and diseases. This new facility will house technology that can further engage the student’s understanding of health by interacting and collaborating in ways they were not previously able to.

Instead of staring at a textbook and taking notes in a lecture, they will be fully engaged by the new active leaning classrooms.

“We have to be about the future,” Myron Jacobson, Dean of the College of Pharmacy, said. “This pharmacy school is still new, but that means there is room for improvement.”

His goal is to see increased team work in the new building as it is designed to educate health care professionals. The new state of the art research laboratories allows students to further their knowledge of health care together.

He also continued to describe not only the improved research labs and classrooms but also the one-of-a-kind facilities the building will house.

A new demonstrative kitchen, for example, will give students and faculty access to watch the preparation of healthy meals. One of Jacobson’s concerns is that health care is more than just prescriptions and includes maintaining a healthy diet.

“This is more than just pharmaceuticals,” Jacobson said. “I get excited every day about this building. It’s exciting to prepare for the future.”

Although the college will provide a way for both students and faculty to learn together, Jacobson is looking towards what this facility will provide for the general public, as well.

Jacobson’s biggest concern is the future of health care. He explained that one in five senior citizens are on medications and one in four prescriptions are never picked up. This room for error leaves an opportunity for growth.

“We are educating doctors of pharmacy here,” Jacobson said. “We have to switch from pill to patient and help patients first.”

The groundbreaking ceremony marks a big turning point for the College of Pharmacy. Although it will take at least two years until the building is open to the public, Jacobson said he is eager to see what is in store for the college and its students.

“There are seven million people living in the Dallas-Fort Worth area and this is the only pharmacy school based here,” Jacobson said. “We are training the therapists of tomorrow.”

Featured Image: UNT’s College of Pharmacy had a ceremony to celebrate the construction of a new Interprofessional Research and Education Building expected in 2018. Travis McCallum

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Bina Perino

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