Nov 11, 2013
11:23 AMHealth & Science
Bioscience Connecticut Projects Creating UConn Health Center Jobs
Construction is underway at the new patient tower of the John Dempsey Hospital and the Jackson Laboratory for Genomic Medicine.
Construction at the UConn Health Center campus in Farmington, as a result of Bioscience Connecticut, an job-creation initiative signed into legislation by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy in June 2011, has spurred over 1,000 construction jobs since ground was broken in June 2012.
Currently there are about 400 workers on the site each day, divided among three major construction projects currently being completed.
Tom Trutter, associate vice president of campus planning, said that number will soar to between 800 and 1,000 people on site during peak construction next summer.
The 1,000 jobs milestone checks the first box of Bioscience Connecticut’s tagline, “Jobs Today, Economic Growth, Innovation for the Future.” Over the course of six years, from 2012 to 2018, approximately 3,000 construction jobs will be created annually. More than 80 percent of the contracts associated with Bioscience Connecticut have been awarded to Connecticut companies, according to Chris DeFrancesco of the UConn Health Center Office of Communications.
(The new Ambulatory Care Center is expected to open in January 2015, while the attached parking garage will open this month, adding 1,400 parking spaces back to campus.)
Over the long term, sustainable economic growth based on bioscience research, innovation, entrepreneurship and commercialization will be created through the eight large scale projects to be completed during that time.
Those include a new Ambulatory Care Center, renovations to the existing John Dempsey Hospital, a new patient care tower at the hospital, an expansion of the academic buildings and renovations to the research labs.
It is estimated that this project will generate a $4.6 billion increase in personal income and 16,400 permanent jobs by 2037, according to the Bioscience Connecticut website.
Trutter said $868 million will be invested in overall construction for the projects by the end of the timeline.
During the year between legislation being signed in June 2011 till the first shovel went into the ground in June 2012, “a big sequence of events needed to be coordinated,” said DeFrancesco.
This is the first large-scale center renovation since the campus was built in the 1970s. Strutter said additions have been added over the years, but, “Nothing that’s renovated our existing facilities in a major way.”
The renovations and new construction will make the UConn Health Center more sustainable and innovative for the future, said DeFrancesco.
The first project to be completed in April 2013 was Garage 3, a parking garage adjacent to the main hospital building. Strutter said this was an important first step because some of the other building sites are currently parking lots and structures. In order to mitigate the impact to employees, patients and visitors another garage had to be erected. It hasn’t been without incident though.