SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- The Moran Eye Center at the University of Utah has raised about $40 million of the $53 million it needs for a new facility, and preliminary plans have been drawn up.
The new building is planned just south of Primary Children's Medical Center, right off the new TRAX line.
Dr. Randall J. Olson, director of the center, believes they'll break ground by next spring and move in during late 2005 or early 2006.
The 200,000 square-foot building will have glass walls, elevated walkways, an atrium and a sensory garden out back.
"It's a major structure we think will do everything we need for the next 20 years," Olson said.
The center's 10-year-old building has 82,500 square feet and no room for expansion.
When Moran moves, the university will take the vacated space for other programs.
Olson said that when they moved into the current building, "We knew we were short on research space and the clinic space was tight," but it was available at a time of great need and has served the community well.
With the new building Moran will be one of the biggest eye complexes in the world. It's already recognized as one of the best, with patients flying in from all over the world.
The staff includes experts in many aspects of treatment and research, including genetics, transplantation, disease processes, adult stem cells and artificial vision.
In 2002, the center and its 10 satellite clinics had more than 81,000 patient visits, and nearly 5,000 surgeries were performed in its four surgical suites. Its researchers were part of more than 25 active clinical trials.
The new building's design includes a five-story clinical pavilion and six floors of research, all separated by a glassed-in atrium. The actual clinic occupies two floors. The clinic and surgery center each get as much as 40 percent more space. The research space triples, taking up half the new facility.
(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)