TULSA - A joint venture between the University of Tulsa and the University of Oklahoma-Tulsa to bring a new medical school to downtown took a giant leap forward on Thursday, as the Tulsa Development Authority voted to enter into negotiations with the two universities for the sale of a piece of city-owned property known as the Hartford building.
If the sale goes through, the 74,000 sq. foot building on 1st and Greenwood will be the home to the four-year medical school, which would be called the Tulsa School of Community Medicine.
The medical school would be comprised of 400 students, faculty and staff.
"We had been looking at properties and discovered the Hartford building and saw the opportunity to make a really great environment for the students," said TU Associate Vice-President of Public Affairs and Economic Development, Susan Neal.
Nearby property owner Ronnie Thomas agrees that locating a medical school in downtown is a good idea, especially because of the economic impact it could generate.
"I think it's going to have a very positive impact. We're really excited about the news," said Thomas. "We know that there's going to be 400 to 500 people employed there that are obviously going to be looking for places to live in the downtown area."
Economic impact aside, the primary reason the project was started was to address the shortage of doctors in the Tulsa area.
"It's a partnership that in coming together can make a real difference in the health outcomes for our citizens," said Neal.
If the sale of the Hartford building goes through, the medical school would open in 2014.
T.U. officials are hoping to close on the property in the first quarter of next year.
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