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Biotech Park’s First Building Gets Off the Ground


John Rangos, right, and Mike Weisfeldt at groundbreaking.
It was a long time coming, but finally, on the morning of April 17, ground was broken for the first of five life-science buildings that will rise in the Science + Technology Park at Johns Hopkins. The park is part of the New East Baltimore Community, a 12- to 15-year urban renewal project north of the medical campus.

The School of Medicine’s Institute of Basic Biomedical Sciences will lease a third of the new six-story facility at 855 N. Wolfe St.; private biotech companies will lease the rest.

The building has been named in honor of John G. Rangos Sr., a successful industrialist from Pittsburgh with long ties to Hopkins, who will donate $10 million in support of basic science initiatives. “What really captivated his imagination is that this is the first building to house basic science along with industry,” said Mike Weisfeldt, chairman of the Department of Medicine.

Noting that his family’s charitable foundation has supported a range of health care and educational efforts, Rangos told the crowd he chose Johns Hopkins because “this institution and its programs are a beacon of light in medicine and science.”

Johns Hopkins has played a significant role in the renewal project, said Dean/CEO Edward Miller. It has helped fund relocation efforts and is currently exploring housing options for medical students, planning for a community school, recruiting tenants for the Rangos Building and stepping up investment in job training programs.

Among other luminaries on the podium were U.S. Sen. Barbara Mikulski, Gov. Robert Ehrlich and Mayor Martin O’Malley. But the real stars of the show were the five top science students from nearby Dunbar High School who sat on the first row.

Recognized by developers Forest City-New East Baltimore Partnership with a $10,000 donation to Dunbar’s science program, the five students picked up the waiting shovels and broke ground.

The New East Baltimore was on its way.

—Anne Bennett Swingle

 

 

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