The University of Tulsa has decided not to complete the purchase of the Hartford Building in downtown Tulsa as part of a new medical school after all.
The university was planning to use the building, currently owned by the Tulsa Development Authority, as the home of the planned Tulsa School of Community Medicine (TSCM). Instead, TU says the TSCM will be located on the OU-Tulsa Schusterman and The University of Tulsa campuses.
According to a news release from the universities, leaders at both schools decided it would cost too much to buy and convert the Hartford Building at 1st and Greenwood into the facility needed for the TSCM.
The Tulsa Development Authority voted to terminate the deal at its meeting on Thursday, February 14, 2013.
"Our needs, our partnership and our mission for the medical school in Tulsa remain the same," said University of Tulsa President Steadman Upham. "Only the location is changing, and it is doing so in a way that allows for a more rapid opening of the Tulsa School of Community Medicine. We appreciate the support of the Tulsa Development Authority and other key stakeholders as we made this decision."
Both TU and OU say the partnership to form the TSCM is alive and well, with the goal of providing doctors to ease the shortage in northeast Oklahoma.
TU and OU are proceeding with their TSCM partnership, according to the news release.
They say they expect to admit their first class in fall 2015. TU will provide foundational science instruction, while OU will provide advanced medical instruction.
They also say donor support remains firmly in place.
According to the news release, University of Oklahoma President David Boren says the partnership between OU and TU is as strong as ever, and that the program is proceeding on schedule.
"This startup requires us to navigate a large, complex and sometimes novel set of variables, but our direction is clearly forward," he said. "Private support for this venture has been extraordinary, and we expect to announce more milestones soon."
Tulsa Development Authority Executive Director O.C. Walker confirmed that the schools had worked closely with the authority and had kept it informed about their plans to back out of the deal.
Walker told News On 6 the authority hasn't made a decision on what to do with the property now. He said that decision would likely be made by the board in the next month or so.