So it has come to pass, courtesy of the nonprofit Nevada Health and Bioscience Corporation (NHBC) – the Kirk Kerkorian School of Medicine at UNLV now has its first permanent building, one that will anchor the Las Vegas Medical District.
On Oct. 5, 2022, less than two years after the groundbreaking for the five-story, 135,000-square-foot structure, the NHBC celebrated the completion of the Kirk Kerkorian Medical Education Building that was built to support the advancement of medical education in Southern Nevada.
With an eye for design that kept patrons of his megaresorts coming back for more, Kirk Kerkorian, the late founder of MGM Resorts International for whom the medical school is named, no doubt would have appreciated the educational wizardry designed into the new Medical Education Building.
Flexibility is a key feature of the building that earned TSK Architects and CO Architects a top honor award for design excellence from the American Institute of Architects Nevada. While the school’s class size is now 60 students per class, the building is designed to appropriately handle a class of 120.
The state-of-the-art facility was made possible, according to Maureen Schafer, president and CEO of NHBC, by $120 million in philanthropic donations from Kerkorian’s charitable Lincy Foundation, the Engelstad Foundation, MaryKaye Cashman, the Boyd Family Foundation, and Bank of America – and by $25 million allocated from the state of Nevada.
Visitors to the allopathic, MD-granting medical school, pass through gardens before entering the building on the second floor. There, a multistory community space will act as a gathering place, as well as a space for public lectures, TED-style talks, and community and school events. There is also a cafe and study rooms on this floor, which opens up to a walking trail.
Nestled six feet into the earth is Level I of the building, which houses the structure’s training functions, including standardized patient rooms, a simulation suite, virtual anatomy classrooms, and a pro-section (cadaver) lab. A learning resource center operated by UNLV Libraries, emphasizing the latest in digital media, is common to the third and fourth floors.
The student lounge and fitness/wellness center is also on the fourth floor. On both the third and fourth levels are group study rooms and flexible classrooms, with operable partitions that open to each other should larger groups need accommodation. The school’s fifth floor houses administrative offices, as well as added classroom and wellness center space.
Dr. Marc J. Kahn, dean of the Kirk Kerkorian School of Medicine at UNLV, said the NHBC gift is a gift that will keep on giving by training new generations of physicians to serve the needs of the ever-growing Las Vegas Valley.
“In addition to providing a space to train physicians, the gift should be a catalyst for attracting new biomedical and pharmaceutical companies to our community, another step in helping our region diversify its economy,” he said.
To further celebrate the medical school’s new permanent home, a series of events are being planned to showcase the facility and share the expertise of UNLV faculty and leaders with the community.