University of Puget Sound officials expect to break ground next month on a $22 million, 42,500-square-foot Center for Health Sciences.
The four-story building will sit north of North 11th Street between Alder Street and Union Avenue, across from Memorial Fieldhouse.
Three local foundations recently committed a combined $650,000 to the project, bringing the total raised or promised to $15.5 million, campus officials announced Monday.
The most recent commitments came from the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust, $400,000; the Norcliffe Foundation, $150,000; and the Titus-Will Families Foundation, $100,000, according to a news release.
The new center, to be completed in time for classes in fall 2011, will include classrooms and clinics for the graduate schools of occupational and physical therapy and the undergraduate departments of exercise science and psychology. It also will contain space for the university’s interdisciplinary neuroscience program.
About 850 students will study there.
Construction will require the removal of five houses, including four on North 11th, according to a fact sheet from the university. They include Elliot House, which is used by the occupational and physical therapy departments, and three residences housing a total of 11 students.
The location of the new building was chosen to minimize the removal of trees from a grove of firs, the fact sheet says. The university’s master plan includes creating a pathway winding through the grove from Jones Hall to the fieldhouse.
The center will provide services for about 300 patients referred to the outpatient clinics each year. It will include indoor facilities designed to aid rehabilitation and an outdoor “mobility park” with ramps, curbs and stairs, UPS spokeswoman Shirley Skeel said.
There are about 200 students in the physical and occupational therapy programs, and about 65 earn graduate degrees each year, Skeel said. Many therapy practitioners in Pierce County are UPS grads.
The private, liberal arts college has about 2,600 students.
Kris Sherman: 253-597-8659