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 U of I trustees approve land acquisition
Purchase will accommodate expansion of Peoria medical campus

December 20, 2016 

URBANA – The University of Illinois System will acquire nearly three acres of land for expansion of the College of Medicine in Peoria (UICOMP) under an agreement approved Tuesday by the Board of Trustees Executive Committee.

The 2.97-acre parcel is adjacent to UICOMP’s campus and will be purchased for $500,000 from Wald/Land Corp., a Peoria-based real estate development company. The property formerly housed the Bob Michel VA Outpatient Clinic, which moved to Peoria’s northwest side in 2011.

UICOMP Regional Dean Sara Rusch said the property at 411 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive will accommodate planned enrollment expansion on the Peoria campus in the fall of 2017, along with possible future growth.

“We’re very excited about acquiring this property and the future opportunities it provides for the College of Medicine and downtown Peoria,” Rusch said.

Two parking lots on the property with a combined 145 spaces will accommodate the addition of 55 first-year medical students and about 20 faculty and staff next fall at UICOMP, part of a College of Medicine at the University of Illinois at Chicago that is the largest public medical school in the nation.

Next fall’s student expansion at UICOMP stems from the phase-out of a regional medical school at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, which is shifting first-year medical students to UICOMP as Urbana develops a new engineering-based medical college that is expected to open in the fall of 2018. The changes will increase UICOMP’s enrollment from 165 students to more than 220 annually.

The downtown Peoria property also includes a 31,600-square-foot office building.  Long-term plans call for razing the vacant facility to accommodate possible future expansion of UICOMP’s commitment to medical education and underserved patients.

Upgrades are already underway on the existing campus, including a new anatomical laboratory for cadaver dissection and technology-assisted training, and a technology-rich “team-based” classroom.

UICOMP educates more than 150 medical students and nearly 270 physicians-in-training annually, and is home to the Cancer Research Center, the Center for Outcomes Research, and a collaborator in Jump Simulation.

The land purchase was considered during a special meeting of the Board of Trustees Executive Committee to accommodate Wald/Land Corp.’s request to close the deal by the end of the year. The three-member Executive Committee meets as needed to act on business on behalf of the board.

Urbana College of Medicine

The committee also approved a revised contract for consulting services in the accreditation process for the new Carle Illinois College of Medicine at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Boston-based Price Waterhouse Coopers Advisory Services LLC has worked with the university since August under a $562,000 contract, collecting data and providing other support in the first phase toward earning accreditation from the Liaison Committee of Medical Education.

The revised contract will bring total spending to about $1.3 million, with Price Waterhouse assisting in developing detailed plans to launch operation of the new medical school, which hopes to welcome its inaugural class in the fall of 2018.

The engineering-based medical school is being developed in partnership with the Urbana-based Carle healthcare system. The Carle Foundation donated 51 percent of the funding required to support Price Waterhouse consulting costs. The university’s share of the consulting costs will come from institutional funds and no state funding or tuition revenue are involved.

The college will integrate the university’s unparalleled assets in engineering, technology and supercomputing with Carle’s nationally recognized, comprehensive health care system to transform how physicians are trained and how medicine is delivered.


The University of Illinois System is a world leader in research and discovery, the largest educational institution in the state with more than 81,000 students, 24,000 faculty and staff, and campuses in Urbana-Champaign, Chicago and Springfield. The U of I System awards more than 20,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees annually. 


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