UT Medical School Construction Update

February 25, 2014 by Kate Harrington

While an official groundbreaking hasn’t been announced, construction crews have started work on the site of the planned Dell Medical School campus near the Erwin Center. The activity so far is mostly preparation for larger construction activity to come in March, the Austin American-Statesman reported.

Crews are creating a temporary parking area with 121 spaces, which will make up for parking that will be lost when site preparation work begins in March south of the Erwin Center. The first phase is scheduled to be open by fall of 2016.

Since the University of Texas at Austin’s announcement of its plans for the new medical school last spring, UT also announced that Dr. S. Claiborne “Clay” Johnston will begin March 1 as inaugural dean of the Dell Medical School. Johnston will serve as dean of the medical school, as university vice president for medical affairs, and will become a professor of neurology. As dean, he will lead the school in developing new approaches for teaching, patient care and research.


As the medical school moves forward, Austin Mayor Lee Leffingwell has brought together an advisory group to guide the creation of an Innovation Zone near the campus. That group includes stakeholders from the city, state, and UT, all of whom have big plans for the northeast corner of downtown Austin.

The city has completed its Downtown Austin Plan, the state is working on a plan to consolidate many of its offices into downtown, the medical school in underway, and work along Waller Creek is anticipated to bring new development to the area. The advisory group will bring voices from all of those entities into guiding what many hope will become an area of innovation similar to the area between Harvard University and MIT in Massachusetts, where private and government investment fosters entrepreneurs.

What part of the Medical District are you most looking forward to? Leave your comments below!

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Written by Kate Harrington

Kate is a former reporter, most recently for the Austin Business Journal, where she covered real estate, economic development and transportation. Since 2010 she has been running Thumbtack Communications. Thumbtack provides writing, editing and marketing services. Before moving to Austin in 2002 Kate lived in her native New England, which she still visits often to escape the Texas heat.