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Tower Health, Drexel pick site for medical school

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An artist rendering of the Drexel University College of Medicine at Tower Health facility
An artist rendering of the Drexel University College of Medicine at Tower Health facility

Reading-based Tower Health announced it has selected the location for the Drexel University College of Medicine at Tower Health. It will be at the Knitting Mills.

The health system will build a 200,000-square-foot building at the Knitting Mills, a $70 million office and retail complex in West Reading and Wyomissing that is undergoing redevelopment.

Tower Health signed a memorandum of understanding with Equus Capital Partners Ltd., of Newtown Square, Delaware County, to build the campus. Equus is the developer of the Knitting Mills.

The site was selected because it is blocks away from Reading Hospital in West Reading, Tower Health said in a news release.

The four-year medical school branch is expected to be operational in time for the 2021-22 academic year, it said.

For the first year, education, classroom, and lab instruction will take place temporarily in Reading Hospital's School of Health Sciences. As the project moves forward, Tower Health and Drexel officials anticipate the first group of approximately 40 medical students will arrive at Reading Hospital for the 2020-2021 academic year. When fully operational, the campus will educate 200 students. 

"This is an exciting step in Tower Health's evolution of our academic mission," Clint Matthews, president and CEO of Tower Health, said in a statement.

"Our affiliation with Drexel, one of the finest medical schools in the country, will help us address projected physician shortages in our region, bring improved access and services to our patients and provide significant economic benefit to the entire Reading area," Matthews said.

John Fry, Drexel's president, said, "The new campus in Reading is cause for excitement, as it opens up new training opportunities for Drexel College of Medicine students and enhances Tower Health's impact throughout the region."

The zoning approval process for the new school building will begin in the near future.

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