MOBILE — Governor Kay Ivey joined University of South Alabama president Jo Bonner and other officials Friday for a groundbreaking ceremony at the Frederick P. Whiddon  College of Medicine.

“Folks, we are here to break ground on a new facility that will undoubtedly be a tremendous resource for this region and our state as a whole,” Ivey said. “But make no mistake, there is nothing new about the success of the Frederick P. Whiddon College of Medicine.

The 250,000-square-foot education and research building will have a capacity of 125 medical students.

The medical school has graduated approximately 3,000 doctors over the past 50 years.

Bonner said he is pleased to see the successful college getting a fresh look.

“The addition of this new building will help complete medical education in and on our campus as the hub for this region of the state,” Bonner said. “ … In those buildings are students who are learning to become nurses and therapists and practitioners who will go out along with these medical students and help change lives and make the world a better place.”

“More than 500,000 square feet of space on our campus will be dedicated to help your education once the new Whiddon College of Medicine building opens,” Bonner continued.

“The reality of it to be able to actually happen is amazing,” Mobile Mayor Sandy Stimpson said. “But several words come to mind as I sit and think about it. When we drove up and I saw all the aspiring doctors, first and second-year medical students with their white robes on, the word that came to mind was hope.”

City council members were also on hand for the groundbreaking and participated in the event.

Stimpson said the project would not have been possible without Ivey directing $50 million in Public School and College Authority (PSCA) Bond dollars for the facility replacement.

The new building is expected to be completed in three years.

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