Speakers set for Friday’s dedication ceremony of USD’s Lee Memorial Medicine and Science Building

VERMILLION, S.D. -- The Sanford School of Medicine and the School of Health Sciences of The University of South Dakota will celebrate the dedication of the Andrew E. Lee Memorial Medicine and Science Building on the USD campus in Vermillion at 4 p.m. Friday with a distinguished list of guest speakers.

Dr. Ron Lindahl, executive dean of the Sanford School of Medicine and dean of Basic Biomedical Sciences at The U, will serve as master of ceremonies for the event. Scheduled speakers are Regent Carole Pagones of Sioux Falls, USD President James W. Abbott, U.S. Sen. Tim Johnson, USD Foundation Chair Dan Moen, School of Health Sciences Dean Dr. Brian Kaatz, and Sanford School of Medicine Dean and Vice President for Health Affairs Dr. Rodney R. Parry.

The Lee building, located at 215 E Clark St., features state-of-the-art faculty research laboratories, classrooms and offices. The facility houses The U’s Division of Basic Biomedical Sciences, Medical Student Affairs, Division of Health Sciences Dean, and Occupational Therapy and Physical Therapy departments. Already ranked as one of the best in the nation for rural medicine and family medicine by U.S. News and World Report, this new facility greatly enhances the doctor of medicine program where students are required to learn the application of scientific knowledge and skills.

The new building consists of two, three-story wings linked by a central atrium totaling 156,700 square feet. The Medical Education Wing, located on the west side of the building, and the Graduate Education and Research Wing on the east side of the building, are home to 37 laboratories/office suites; 28 faculty offices; 15 small group education rooms; 10 conference rooms; four teaching labs; three tiered classrooms, including an auditorium that seats 222 students; three flat classrooms with a combined seating capacity for up to 146 students, two student lounges; and one five-room clinical examination suite. The building is also wired for the latest technology and was designed to be adaptable to changes in technology.

The first of two phases of construction for the new building began in 2004 with the demolition of the former Andrew E. Lee Memorial Medicine and Science Hall, which was constructed in 1952. Money for the project was provided by Higher Education Facilities Funds ($12.5 million), Campaign South Dakota ($12.5 million), federal appropriations ($10.2 million) and the South Dakota State Legislature ($1.8 million).

The dedication ceremony is open to the public with tours of the new facility available following the half hour program.

For more information about the new Lee Medical Sciences Building, please visit www.usd.edu/med/leemed.cfm. A photograph of the new building is available for download at www.usd.edu/urelations/images/Lee_Med2008.jpg.