The Winthrop-University Research and Academic Center is near completion after four years since the project’s approval by the Mineola Village Board. The $110-million facility held a grand opening last Thursday.
“Winthrop’s new Research and Academic Center will be an epicenter of wellness care, research and medical study for Nassau County and the region as Winthrop takes on the tough job of confronting how personal habits, nutrition and the destructive forces of obesity are threatening our future and driving up the costs of healthcare,” said John F. Collins, president and chief executive officer of Winthrop.
The 95,000 square-foot building will house obesity and diabetes research as well as cardiometabolic complication studies that arise from the conditions. The center will aim studies towards other health issues, including premature births and treating conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease and arthritis.
Winthrop broke ground on the project in 2012, before holding a topping off ceremony, where the last steel I-beam is set into the structure, in 2013.
“It’s a great addition to the hospital,” Mayor Scott Strauss said. “It’s going to bring in jobs and more to the downtown area.”
The ground floor of the facility will be dedicated to medical education, focusing on trauma/surgery simulation and hold conference and classrooms. The second level is slated for adult and pediatric endocrinology and diabetes studies, complete with exam rooms and programs dedicated to its research.
“The construction of this facility signifies a major step in the fulfillment of a vision of making Winthrop a fully-integrated campus featuring interconnected research, academic and clinical facilities, all here in this very building,” said Charles M. Strain, Winthrop’s board of directors chair. “We are so glad to be here celebrating this momentous and unforgettable occasion in Winthrop’s history, as we know the future of this cutting-edge facility is promising and bright.”
The facility’s third floor will focus on clinical/transitional research and the fourth and final floors will house research labs and additional conference rooms for basic science research.
The new building will contain classrooms for the 80 medical students who live and study on the Winthrop campus, which serves as a clinical satellite of the Stony Brook School of Medicine, according to hospital reps. Space will be devoted to classrooms, medical training facilities and a simulation lab, where students train with lifelike robotic mannequins. A 350-seat amphitheater will serve as a lecture hall and community education venues sponsored by the hospital.
Forty-five new positions will be created. The jobs will range from research scientists, statisticians and clinical researchers, among other support positions.
The Mineola Village Board approved the research center plan four years ago. Village Building Superintendent Dan Whalen said Mineola is planning to approve a temporary certificate of occupancy (COO) to three areas of the building for 90 days. After the three months, Winthrop can either extend it or apply for the full COO.
“This is to not to say the other areas are not inhabitable at this time,” he said.