DEAN SENSUI / DSENSUI@STARBULLETIN.COM
University of Hawaii President Evan Dobelle, second from left, Rev. David Kaupu of the Kaumakapili Church and Gov. Ben Cayetano untie a maile lei during yesterday's groundbreaking for the new UH medical school.
The occasion was described as historic by dignitaries and would have greatly pleased his dad, said James Burns, chief judge of the Intermediate Court of Appeals.
Dignitaries break ground
for new medical school
By Helen Altonn
He said John Burns, his father, envisioned the kind of prestigious University of Hawaii Medical School that the state broke ground for yesterday in Kakaako.
Gov. Ben Cayetano said the late governor, an "Irish cop" without a college education, provided the "great vision" that the school bearing his name will build on at its new waterfront site.
U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka and U.S. Rep. Neil Abercrombie were among about 500 community, government and university officials who attended the ceremony.
UH President Evan Dobelle also surprised Cayetano with the first "President's Medal" in recognition of his support for the new school.
Dr. Edwin Cadman, dean of the John A. Burns Medical School, said he anticipates the school ultimately will bring $80 million to $100 million into the state in annual revenues and create 1,000 new jobs.
House Speaker Calvin Say said the project was part of a post-Sept. 11, 2001, state effort to bolster the economy with state-funded construction projects. He said UH delivered on a promise to fast-track the medical school in 18 months.
The first buildings on the nearly 10-acre site are expected to be ready for occupancy in the fall of 2005. They include a 216,000-square-foot research building and a 138,000-square-foot education and administration building.
The Legislature provided $150 million from tobacco settlement funds for revenue bonds to finance the first phase. The second phase, including another research building, depends on UH finding another $150 million from private sources.
Senate President Robert Bunda called the groundbreaking a "giant step closer to realizing plans for a vibrant urban center and thriving waterfront community." He thanked the many people who worked to realize John Burns' dream.
Manoa Chancellor Peter Englert said the medical school at Kakaako will be "a home away from home" and "a very visible symbol that the UH is a vital part of our city and state."
Pointing out that the UH strategic plan makes a strong commitment for research and education at Manoa, Englert said the medical school holds promise for a significant increase in funding and worldwide attention "to the excellent caliber of our scientists."
Dr. Hamilton McCubbin, chief executive officer of Kamehameha Schools, a partner in the Kakaako biomedical development, said it reflects Bernice Pauahi Bishop's vision for the Hawaiian people.
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