Workers put the finishing touches on the ceiling of the atrium of the new UB medical school in downtown Buffalo in this file photo from March. (Mark Mulville/Buffalo News file photo)

The new University at Buffalo medical school on the western edge of the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus is edging closer to the finish line, hitting the 84 percent completion mark.

Contractors have turned their attention to interior finishing work at the $375 million, eight-story Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at Allen and Main streets.

“Each milestone brings us closer to achieving our vision for this project,” said Michael Cain, UB's medical school dean.

Contractors on the project, overseen by LPCiminelli, are working their way through the second phase of work, including the building's seven-story glass atrium and installation of furniture, fixtures and equipment for labs. Substantial work has been done on plumbing, mechanical and electrical systems.

[PHOTO GALLERY: UB's downtown medical school nears completion]

The building's 650 ribbon-glass panels will make up 19,000 square feet of glass along the perimeter of the atrium, as well as a glass rain screen on the building's terra cotta façade.

State-of-the-art classrooms, laboratories and an expanded patient care simulation center for clinical, surgical and robotic surgery training also are being completed.

The first phase – centered on the excavation and foundation work and structural steel framing – is done. About 29,000 cubic yards of concrete were used in the construction and 7,400 tons of structural steel for framing. At 628,000-square-feet, the building is the equivalent in size to about 11 football fields and includes a built-in metro rail station at Allen and Main.

Last week, the 150-foot-tall buck hoist with two exterior elevators that had transported materials and supplies up the outside of the building for more than a year was dismantled.

University officials have said staff will begin moving into the building later this fall, followed by the start of classes there next January.

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