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Spencer Fox Eccles School of Medicine final beam in place

The structure of the new Spencer Fox Eccles School of Medicine building at the University of Utah was completed during a beam “topping off” ceremony for the state-of-the-art teaching, training and research facility.

The 211,457-square-foot building is poised to revolutionize medical education at the U upon completion. A high-tech anatomy lab, tailored classrooms, an advanced simulation center, collaborative spaces and conference auditoriums will serve the 500-plus students in the university’s prestigious medical program.

Spencer Fox Eccles, the school’s namesake, is one of Utah’s leading philanthropists and a dedicated University of Utah supporter. Funds from a landmark $110 million gift from the George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Foundation and the Nora Eccles Treadwell Foundation provide support for medical education programs and cardiovascular research. Eccles is chairman and CEO of the two foundations.

“I have long believed that no state or region can become truly great without a world-class medical center at its nucleus," Eccles said. “When completed, this facility will help ensure the university provides the highest quality medical education for the doctors who serve Utah and the entire Intermountain West.”

Eccles trusts that the medical school that bears his name will further the excellence of health care for all citizens and positively impact the future of medicine through its groundbreaking research. It will also support the U’s mission to provide world-leading education and clinical training to the rising generation of health care providers.

The eight-story facility is nestled on the hillside in the heart of the University of Utah Health campus and will replace the old School of Medicine facility that was built in the 1960’s.

“This innovative new building will be the cornerstone of our U of U Health campus, embodying the extraordinary and generous legacy of the Eccles family and their foundations, a legacy that has enriched the University of Utah for over 70 years,” said Taylor Randall, president of the University of Utah. “The Spencer Fox Eccles School of Medicine will propel the U forward, as a world-class integrated academic medical institution. I want to specifically thank Spence Eccles, from the bottom of our hearts, for everything he has done for the U.”

Work on the new building began with the groundbreaking in October 2022, and the installment of the first structural steel started in February 2024. The placement of the final beam, frequently celebrated by builders as a centuries-long tradition, is significant as it means the structural phase of construction is complete.

“This facility will advance innovation in medical education,” said Michael Good, MD, CEO of University of Utah Health and senior vice president for Health Sciences. “It will enable us to be a model for the nation in educating medical students who will pursue excellence in patient care and the medical sciences.”

"Getting to this point has been the result of a lot of methodical planning and hard work by everyone involved in the project. It’s a milestone well worth celebrating,” said Chris Field, vice president and project executive for Jacobsen Construction, the general contractor commissioned to construct the facility. “A lot of work remains, but we already have a glimpse of the university’s brilliant vision taking shape, step by step, and it’s inspiring to be a part of it.”

The design partners on this project are VCBO Architecture, an award-winning firm based in Salt Lake City, and Yazdani Studio, a prominent national firm headquartered in Los Angeles.