US-based University of Kentucky has marked the start of construction on its new Health Education building with a ground-breaking ceremony.

Set to open in 2026, the new facility will be located at the intersection of Huguelet and University drives.

The 2022 Kentucky General Assembly approved this project, which costs $380m, and its construction phase was authorised by the University of Kentucky Board of Trustees earlier in June this year.

Spanning more than 500,000ft², the academic building will accommodate programmes from the colleges of Medicine, Health Sciences, Public Health, and Nursing.

It will also house the Center for Interprofessional and Community Health Education.

University of Kentucky president Eli Capilouto said: “Our goal – our promise – is that when our students complete these programmes and join the workforce, they are well-equipped to face today’s complex challenges and help all Kentuckians live longer and healthier lives.” 

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The building will feature eight floors in its south wing and ten in the north wing.

Currently, 77% of the building’s space is planned for academic, shared, and collaborative purposes, including 25% reserved for classrooms and learning labs and 34% for simulation and experiential learning.

The north wing’s exterior will be made of both brick and glass while the south wing will have a large glass front to allow natural light into the faculty workspace offices.

This new facility will enable the College of Medicine to expand its medical education programme in Lexington from approximately 138 students to 200.

It will allow the College of Nursing to double its enrolment while helping the College of Health Sciences to also grow its enrolment by 30%.

Additionally, the building’s collaborative environment is expected to contribute to the development of innovative treatment methods, thereby potentially enhancing patient outcomes.