Thompson & Litton chosen to prepare architectural schedule for King Med School

Elizabethton Star – March 5, 2012

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BRISTOL — Thompson & Litton (T&L), one of the region’s most respected architectural and engineering firms, has been chosen by the King School of Medicine Board of Trustees to prepare the architectural and engineering schedule for the Virginia-based King School of Medicine & Health Sciences Center at Stone Mill Technology and Business Park in Abingdon, Va.

T&L’s master plan for the medical school will be developed very soon, according to Bill Thompson, T&L’s vice president of architecture, and will include the development of a Project Milestone Schedule for the design and construction of the school. The schedule will establish time durations expected for each phase of development leading to the breaking of ground on a portion of the 28 acres of land at Stone Mill Park near Exit 14 off Interstate 81 in Abingdon.

The land that will serve as home to the medical school is valued at $4 million. It was officially given to the King project by the Town of Abingdon in September 2011. Abingdon Town Council also agreed to a financial commitment of $3.5 million to the project, while Washington County’s Board of Supervisors agreed to give $7.5 million toward the school.

Overall, King has $65 million in both capital and endowment funding committed to its medical school project, including $25 million from the Virginia Tobacco Indemnification and Community Revitalization Commission, and $12 million from a private estate in Wise County. The college also has a $12.5 million in-kind contribution through a partnership with the Southwest Virginia Higher Education Center located next to Stone Mill Park. Classrooms, laboratories and advanced technology at the Higher Ed Center will enable the medical school to accept its first class of students by year 2014, according to King officials.

“This is another epic milestone in our push to create a solution to the physician shortage crisis we are facing in our medically underserved region,” King President Dr. Gregory D. Jordan said. “Thompson & Litton has consistently proven itself as one of the premier architectural and engineering consulting firms in the region. We anticipate receiving a comprehensive plan that will interface well with the development of the property at Stone Mill.”

T&L, which designed the new 130,000-square-foot, five-story Alpha Natural Resources headquarters building in Bristol, Va., has 120 employees in six regional offices that handle an array of engineering, architectural, surveying, planning and construction services.

The medical school recently earned “Applicant School” status with the accrediting body for medical education programs that lead to M.D. degrees in North America. The Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) notified King that the medical school met its initial eligibility requirements.

The project has been deemed a “transformational” initiative for Southwest Virginia because of its potential healthcare and economic impact in a 150-mile radius of the Abingdon area.

Studies by medical education consultant Tripp Umbach have shown that the potential annual economic impact for the region increases to as much as $1 billion once the medical school, an affiliated research campus and a medical corridor that is likely to develop around the medical school reach their full productivity by 2035. Other benefits include new neighborhoods, schools, retail, banking and commercial opportunities.