New construction, new opportunities

Pharmacy officials said the new $18 million building is slated to be finished by fall 2003.

The 140,000 net square foot, three-story building will be on the corner of Pershing Street and Martin Luther King Boulevard.

“This new building will allow us to expand our enrollment from the current 150 students per class to 180 students per class,” said Dean of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences Henry Lewis.

Lewis said the first floor of the pharmacy building will include a 600-seat auditorium and an electronic bulletin board that will notify students of what is going on in the pharmacy department.

The second floor will have a student lounge, 1,000 student lockers, a 100-seat computer lab, a 35-station pharmacy dispension laboratory and six study classrooms.

Lewis said the pharmacy students designed the student lounge, study space and locker facilities.

The third floor of the pharmacy building will include a patient assessment laboratory, two conference rooms and administrative and office space for faculty and staff.

Students can’t wait until the new building is ready.

“The lab facilities are getting kind of old and a new building with better facilities will be nice,” said Crystal Johnson, 28, a graduate student majoring from Portsmouth, Va.

Expansion of their public health programs and Ph.D. programs are also parts of the plans for the new building.

“The building is two-thirds completed and we are on time and on budget,” Lewis said.

Samuel Houston, director of facility planning and construction for the pharmacy building, said the new building would also enhance FAMU’s campus.

“From the state capitol you will be able to recognize FAMU’s pharmacy building,” Houston said.

The new pharmacy building is part of Blueprint 2000, which was created to enhance the city of Tallahassee.

“I think it will be an essential element, which will help the university towards the northeast direction to help the Blueprint 2000,” said Laroderick McQueen, FAMU’s project manager.

The National Institute of Health is providing $4 million for the research wing of the building, to include 12 state-of-the-art research laboratories and a Nuclear Magnetic Resonance. It is expected to be completed in December 2004.

The phase two construction of the building will depend on legislative funding this year, which the governor did not include in his recommendation to the legislature this year.

Lewis asked Gainous to alter the Public Education Capital Outlay Funding to include funding for phase two.

Lewis is expecting a response from Gainous soon.

“Hopefully this will become the research cornerstone of the university,” Houston said.

Lewis said the completion of phase two would allow for improvements to research efforts in finding solutions to critical diseases that effect African Americans.

Tiffany Smart can be reached at