SAN ANTONIO – University of the Incarnate Word leaders helped break ground Friday at the future site of the university's medical school at Brooks City Base.
The walls of several buildings at Brooks City Base will soon be covered with UIW Cardinal red and black.
"It's just a dream come true," said Dr. Robyn Madson, who will be the dean of the UIW School of Osteopathic Medicine.
"As an osteopathic medical school, we're interested in holistic care of patients and we will be focused predominantly on training and educating physicians in primary care fields who will serve the underserved in Texas," Madson said.
The project is split into two phases.
Phase 1 will renovate four to five buildings into medical school facilities and is estimated to be done by 2017. Phase 2 will renovate three other buildings that should be done by 2020.
Phase One will cost $50 million, but Madson said the cost will be more than worth it. She said the facility is needed now more than ever.
"Here in Texas, South Texas specifically, there is a huge amount of diabetes and obesity," Madson said.
UIW leaders will also be focusing on medical research in those fields to help generations of the future.
With county and city support, Madson and many other leaders can't wait to see their dreams realized when the school opens to students in 2017. The first class of students are scheduled to graduate in 2021.
The first year's class will be about 125 students and within four years university leaders said it will increase to at least 400 students.
The school will hire 60 full-time employees and 250 part-time employees.
Administrators plan to seek state funding to help offer student grants to help with tuition costs.