Governor releases $5.5 million to plan permanent home for College of Pharmacy

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Date: Friday, October 30, 2009
Contact: Alyson Kakugawa-Leong, (808) 974-7642

For Immediate Release

Governor Linda Lingle has released $5.5 million for planning and design of a permanent building for the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo College of Pharmacy. The state legislature approved the funding earlier this year.

"The College of Pharmacy is a shining beacon in the educational system of Hawai'i and the Pacific and I'm proud to be one of its supporters," said Governor Lingle, who, on October 23, 2009 proclaimed October American Pharmacists Month. "The presence of this school means that we can keep students from having to leave our state to get a degree in a field that will improve overall health care and the local economy."

The College has admitted students for the last three academic years, sharing classrooms and laboratories with other departments at UH Hilo. Teaching, research, study, administrative and faculty office spaces are distributed across seven different sites on the UH Hilo campus and the Hilo community.

"A permanent home is absolutely crucial in order for the College of Pharmacy to achieve full accreditation as well as to provide an environment that is conducive to quality educational and research opportunities," said Chancellor Rose Tseng. "We are grateful to the legislature and to the Governor for recognizing the dire need for pharmacists who will provide an even greater service as our population ages and we experience healthcare reform."

A temporary modular compound of three buildings with one lecture auditorium, laboratories and offices has allowed the College to have a presence on the UH Hilo campus this semester. An investment by the Joseph M. Long Foundation will allow the construction of a $1 million addition.

"The modular compound will be put to good use in supporting UH Hilo activities long after the College moves into a permanent building, and we continue to be appreciative of the generosity from our colleagues on campus," said Dean John M. Pezzuto. "Over the past three years, we have grown from zero to a faculty and staff of more than 40, and a student body of about 260. A dedicated College of Pharmacy facility is not a flight of fancy but a necessary component in our quest to become a top-rated pharmacy school while we improve health and healthcare in Hawaiʻi and throughout the Pacific. I'd like to join the Chancellor in thanking the Governor and the legislature for recognizing the urgency of this plan."

UH Hilo began the first phase of construction for the health sciences complex in October 2008 with $5 million in funding from the State of Hawaiʻi. The finished permanent health complex is estimated to cost between $25-50 million.


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