Louis-Armstrong

Alabama’s $50 million to USA for medical school shrouded in mystery

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey, during her remarks Tuesday at a news conference in Mobile touting a multi-faceted agreement for Brookley Aeroplex property, also promoted the state’s $50 million investment in a new medical school for the University of South Alabama.

A question has now surfaced in Mobile in the past two days: What is the project?

“Today’s news, on top of my announcement to invest $50 million of public school college authority bond money (for a new medical school) is further proof that great things are happening in Alabama’s Port City and the future has never been brighter,” Ivey said.

Indeed, the state is investing $50 million for a new medical school building for the University of South Alabama. But few details have been released on any details about the project such as where a new building will be constructed, what type of medical training will be provided within a new school, and when the project will start or end.

While mysterious in scope, the state’s large investment is being heralded by USA officials as something that will be beneficial for “future generations in our region,” and Mobile Mayor Sandy Stimpson said he believed it was the largest investment by the state to USA for medical education.

“The construction of a new, modern facility will reflect the excellence that already occurs within the College (of Medicine) and will have a significant impact on our ability to recruit students and faculty as we continue to be the leading academic health system on the Gulf Coast,” said Dr. John Marymont, vice-president for medical affairs and dean of the College of Medicine.

Said Dr. Tony Waldrop, president of USA, “Our College of Medicine continues to be a tremendous source of economic growth for our region through our training of the next generation of healthcare providers, discovering new treatments, cures and preventions for diseases, and delivering the expertise associated with the academic medicine to the people of Alabama.”

Ivey included the $50 million within a November 19 announcement that detailed how the $298.3 million in Public School and College Authority (PSCA) money had been authorized to 20 projects around the state. The money comes from legislation that authorized the PSCA to sell up to $1.25 billion in bonds and allocate the money to every city and county K-12 school system and to higher institutions. That money was split with 73% going to K-12 schools and 27% to two-and four-year colleges.

The PSCA consists of Ivey, State Finance Director Kelly Butler and Alabama Superintendent of Education Eric Mackey.

The $50 million dedication for the USA medical school matched the largest single allocations within the November 19 announcement. Also receiving $50 million funding was Auburn University for a new STEM and Agricultural Sciences complex and the University of Alabama at Birmingham for a Genomic Medical & Data Sciences building.

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