Pharmacy school valued at $50M


POSTED: Monday, February 09, 2009

HILO » Open for roughly 18 months, the College of Pharmacy at the University of Hawaii at Hilo will create $50.2 million in annual economic activity two years from now and will also generate $15 million per year in increased state incomes, university economist David Hammes has calculated.

After several years of preparation, the only state pharmacy college admitted its first class of 90 students in 2007 and adds another 90 each new school year.

Its leader, Dean John Pezzuto, is nationally recognized, Hammes said.

Hammes' study, announced yesterday, is the first to describe the economic value of the college.

Now at the midpoint in the school's growth, Hammes looked at both current and full-growth figures.

Student, faculty and staff spending currently add $12 million a year to the economy, Hammes said. With re-spending of that money in the economy, the total value reaches $22.8 million.

While much of that spending is on the Big Island, some spreads throughout Hawaii so the entire state benefits, Hammes said.

Another significant source of spending is relatives who come to visit students or faculty or who come for conferences and continuing education, Hammes said.

Besides the approximately 180 students now at the school, the college has a staff of 32 and supports 274 new jobs, he said.

In two years the counts will rise to about 360 students, 70 staff and 610 new jobs overall, he said.

Each dollar of state money brings in $3.38 from outside. With re-spending, each state dollar creates $9 of economic activity, Hammes said.