skip to Main Content

University of Hawaii Breaks Ground for New Medical School

Governor Cayetano honored at ceremony for his service with President's Medal of Excellence

University of Hawaiʻi
Posted: Oct 24, 2002

The University of Hawaiʻi broke ground today for the new John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM) at Kakaʻako. The project, which is Phase I of plans for a larger biomedical research center, is anticipated to be completed in Fall 2005.

Among the speakers at today‘s program were UH JABSOM Dean Edwin Cadman, Governor Ben Cayetano, Senate President Robert Bunda, House Speaker Calvin Say, UH Board of Regents Chair Bert Kobayashi, UH Mānoa Chancellor Peter Englert, Kamehameha Schools CEO Hamilton McCubbin, and UH President Evan Dobelle.

"This is an especially meaningful day for the University of Hawaiʻi and for all who have pledged their tremendous and ongoing support," said University of Hawaiʻi President Evan S. Dobelle. "This project and what will be achieved when it is completed is not only a triumph for the faculty and students who will fill these future classrooms and laboratories, but also for the state of Hawaiʻi and all its citizens."

Dobelle also recognized Governor Cayetano during the ceremony for his service to the state and commitment to the project by presenting him with the President‘s Medal for Excellence. The President's Medal for Excellence is awarded to individuals who have made extraordinary contributions to their community, public life, or issues of global concern and have distinguished themselves beyond the call of normal pursuits. It is intended to recognize individuals for exemplifying characteristics such as leadership, courage, integrity, loyalty, and commitment to public service that members of the University of Hawaiʻi community — students, alumni, faculty, and staff — strive to achieve. Governor Cayetano is the first recipient of the President‘s Medal.

The new JABSOM complex, in addition to being a world-class education and research facility, will function as an economic engine for the state that will create quality jobs, increase biomedical research activity and be a stimulus for a strong biotechnology industry in Hawaiʻi.

The new campus will be located on 9.1 acres adjacent to the Kakaʻako Waterfront Park in proximity to major Oʻahu medical facilities. The campus is designed as a low-rise facility with extensive landscaping and on-site seating areas to provide a central courtyard and a welcoming sense of place.

The first phase of the facility will include an Education/Administration Building and a Biomedical Research Building — including a child care center, fitness center and a central mechanical plant — totaling approximately 317,225 square feet. The educational building will provide an outstanding teaching environment that will include computerized and virtual instructional facilities, a state of the art medical library, an auditorium and seminar rooms, a cafeteria and dining area, and faculty laboratories and offices. The second phase will include a research center and a parking structure that will accommodate 363 cars.

The entire project is estimated to cost $300 million. Approximately $150 million of that has been provided by the state from tobacco settlement funds in the form of revenue bonds. The University of Hawaiʻi earned strong ratings earlier this summer by three national financial rating agencies — Fitch, Moody‘s, and Standard & Poor‘s — for issuance of the revenue bonds. The university has committed to finding another $150 million in private philanthropy, foundation, and federal government support.

Architects Hawai‘i designed the plans for the facility. The joint venture of Hawaiian Dredging/Kajima is the contractor. The project is anticipated to create about 600 construction jobs in all trades for an 18-36 month period, and about 1,100 permanent jobs.