Construction begins on new Creighton University Health Sciences Campus

A celebration of the new Creighton University health sciences campus at Park Central in midtown Phoenix will be held on Sept. 25. (Submitted photo)

Construction of Creighton University’s nearly $100 million health sciences campus at Park Central in midtown Phoenix began on July 8.

Plaza Companies is the developer, and Okland Construction is the general contractor for the first phase of the Creighton University building, according to a press release, adding that Butler Design Group is the architect. The conceptual and tenant design and improvement architect is RDG Planning & Design.

A celebration of the new campus will be held on Sept. 25, marking the university’s commitment to Phoenix and expanding health education in the Valley, according to the release.

“We are very pleased to be working with Creighton University to make this exceptional medical facility a reality,” said Sharon Harper, Plaza Companies president/CEO, in a prepared statement. “The new building will help fill a critical need in the Arizona medical community and will be a tremendous asset to the Valley of the Sun.”

Creighton University — a Jesuit, Catholic University located in Omaha, Nebraska — reached an agreement last year to purchase land and build the 180,000-square-foot building to be located along Central Avenue on the revitalized Park Central property.

The first phase of the new campus is expected to be completed in spring of 2021. The building will accommodate nearly 900 students seeking degrees in medicine, nursing, pharmacy, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and physician assistant programs, the release said.

“Creighton University has strong ties to the Arizona medical community where more than 250 Creighton-trained physicians currently practice,” said the Rev. Daniel S. Hendrickson, Creighton University president, in a prepared statement.

“We look forward to expanding our impact by educating many more exceptionally qualified health care professionals to serve the community moving forward.”

Plaza Companies and Tucson’s Holualoa Companies are partnering to redevelop Park Central Mall, which was once the city’s first official large-scale shopping mall. The companies are transitioning the expansive space from a retail center to an almost 500,000-square-foot community, the release noted.

Creighton University’s presence in Phoenix is expanding to meet the growing demand for health care professionals, the release noted.

In June 2018, the Creighton University School of Medicine assumed sponsorship of physician graduate medical education training programs at Dignity Health St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center and Maricopa Integrated Health System with District Medical Group, encompassing 11 programs with 325 residents and fellows.

The four partners also formed the Creighton University Arizona Health Education Alliance, which was launched on Sept. 1, 2017 to improve and expand health education programs offered by each of the entities, the release said. The Alliance’s activities will also be based out of the new Park Central facility.

For more than a decade, Creighton University has had an academic presence in Phoenix, sending medical students to St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center for rotations. The relationship expanded in 2009 when the university and St. Joseph’s established a Creighton campus for third- and fourth-year medical students at the Phoenix hospital.

The St. Joseph’s campus is home to about 100 Creighton medical students, the release said, adding that Creighton University’s College of Nursing launched its first Phoenix-based Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing program in 2018.

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