The buildings purchased to house the graduate health sciences programs are already equipped with laboratories. Classroom upgrades and adaptations are planned.
The buildings purchased to house the graduate health sciences programs are already equipped with laboratories. Classroom upgrades and adaptations are planned.

University purchases two buildings to house graduate health sciences programs

Chapman University has purchased two large research-and-development buildings in the heart of the Irvine Spectrum in a $20 million transaction that will provide the University with the space to significantly enhance and expand its graduate health sciences programs, including the new School of Pharmacy.   The buildings – currently known as the Jeronimo Technology Park, located at 9401 and 9501 Jeronimo – already include the laboratory space that will be required by the University’s programs.

A significant amount of redesign and renovation will be required to ready the buildings for the University’s graduate health sciences classes.  University officials estimate that approximately $24 million in renovations will take place before the buildings open for classes in 2014.

The complex will be known as the Chapman University Health Sciences Campus. It will provide classroom, laboratory and office space for graduate students in Chapman’s Schmid College of Science and Technology – Crean School of Health and Life Sciences who are enrolled in physical therapy and the School of Pharmacy.

“We are delighted that our health sciences graduate students, faculty and new campus will be part of the city of Irvine,” said Daniele Struppa, chancellor of Chapman University.  “Chapman’s well-known physical therapy doctoral program, continually accredited since 1928, is one of the oldest and best-respected in the nation.  Our new School of Pharmacy will provide training for a field that will require more and more graduates in coming decades.  We will add more programs as time goes on, probably beginning with a degree for physician assistants, and always with an eye to which health fields are in most demand in California and throughout the nation.”

“This purchase represents a vital step forward for the future of Chapman University and our burgeoning health sciences programs,” said President Jim Doti.  “The health sciences are essential to the future of Orange County, the state of California, the nation and the world, and represent a field in which national and international demand for highly trained graduates far exceeds the supply.  We took a look at which career fields would be in most demand in the future, and the health sciences dominated.  By expanding in this area of study, we hope that our students will help to fill those jobs and contribute greatly to the future health needs of California and the U.S.”

Situated on 7.5 acres, the two buildings total 166,413 square feet of interior space.  Each building was built in 1986 and has 1,000 square feet of adjacent parking, with space for 540 vehicles in total.  The site is about one mile from the Irvine Amtrak station, less than a two-mile drive from the 5/405 freeway interchange, and less than three miles from the Irvine Spectrum Entertainment Center.

This is the first time that Chapman University has expanded beyond its main campus in Orange. (Chapman University’s sister institution, Brandman University, which serves adult learners, has campuses at 26 locations in California and Washington state, but is a separately accredited nonprofit educational institution.)  In 2011, in a heated bidding war, Chapman University attempted to acquire the Crystal Cathedral complex in Garden Grove, which the University would have developed as a health sciences campus, but that property was ultimately purchased by Orange County’s Catholic archdiocese.

Dawn Bonker

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