New Uni building a major investment in SA health precinct

Friday, 24 February 2017

Today the University of Adelaide has opened a $246 million state-of-the-art health and medical sciences building in the SA Health and Biomedical Precinct.

Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Warren Bebbington, said the 14-storey Adelaide Health and Medical Sciences building is the largest capital works project in the University’s history.

“Our new building places cutting-edge facilities for 1600 students and more than 400 researchers right next door to the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI) and just along from the new Royal Adelaide Hospital,” he says.

“It represents a major commitment by the University to making the State’s vision of a health precinct of international significance a reality.”

“The building also brings new teaching styles as well as the latest technologies to health education. By combining the teaching of medical, dental and nursing students in one location, it has stimulated a new integrated approach to health learning."

Professor Alastair Burt, Executive Dean of the University’s Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences says the building brings together for the first time four of the University’s schools: Adelaide Medical School, Adelaide Nursing School, Adelaide Dental School and the School of Public Health.

“We now have the most high-tech healthcare teaching facility in Australasia, including simulation suites that replicate the technology available in modern critical care hospitals, such as the new Royal Adelaide Hospital (nRAH),” Professor Burt says.

“By having the same equipment that is found in modern hospitals like the nRAH, students have access to the same technology, and are surrounded by the same visual cues and sounds, helping them to graduate work-ready, reducing hospital costs and improving the delivery of quality and safe healthcare,” Professor Bebbington says.

Four floors of the building will house modern research laboratories for the University’s outstanding researchers in a shared operating environment specifically designed to foster stronger collaboration.

“The research will tackle major health challenges of the 21st century, including early determinants of disease, the burden of chronic disease in an ageing population, the growing problems of obesity and the search for increasingly effective treatments for common cancers,” Professor Burt says.

“There will be a strong emphasis on translation of our research findings for patient benefit.”

Federal Minister for Education and Training, Senator Simon Birmingham says the AHMS building would be a “game changer” for Adelaide and South Australia.

“This is a state-of-the-art facility that will ensure South Australia is home to the very latest world-class research and training, complementing the Turnbull Government’s innovation agenda,” Minister Birmingham says.

“The AHMS will give students, teachers and researchers the means to bring truly innovative approaches to medicine, nursing, dentistry and other health sciences while collaborating with their peers across the country and around the world.

“I congratulate the University of Adelaide for their efforts in bringing the AHMS building to life, demonstrating the sort of commitment to excellence and innovation that defines Australia’s universities.”

Premier Jay Weatherill says “South Australia’s thriving biomedical precinct is utterly transforming the West End of the city and really putting our State on the map.

“The Adelaide Health and Medical Sciences building evokes the spirit of the University of Adelaide and builds on its reputation for excellence.

“This state-of-the-art building will be a key part of our world class biomedical precinct.

“The University is also continuing its 130-year partnership with the Royal Adelaide Hospital, which will soon open just metres away,” Premier Weatherill says.

Professor Bebbington thanked the Commonwealth for its generous $60 million grant, and also the 600 donors who had contributed to the facilities.

He also noted that the University had provided and was fitting out the top three floors as the new 89-chair Adelaide Dental Hospital, which opens in July.

"At a cost to the University of $58 million, this was a gift by the University to the people of South Australia,” Prof Bebbington says.

"Here in partnership with SA Health we will provide the public dental service with splendid new facilities, under a 30-year Dental Education Partnership Agreement.”

Construction began in August 2014 and, at its peak, more than 450 workers were on site. South Australians made up 90 percent of the workforce and 90 percent of the subcontractors were SA based companies.

The managing contractor, Lendlease, delivered the project, working with key consultants, Lyons (Architect), Rider Levitt Bucknall (Cost Consultant), Aecom / Aurecon (Services Engineers), Arup (Structure & Façade) and Mott MacDonald (Project Managers).


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