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At UB med school, about 4,000 terra cotta panels to go

One by one, 27,650 terra cotta panels have been filling in the exterior of the University at Buffalo's new downtown medical school.

Workers were installing the bottom band of the panels along Main Street this week and expect to finish the terra cotta installation by late August.

The latest count from general contractor LPCiminelli is that roughly 24,000 panels have been installed so far, with nearly 4,000 more to go.

"We've manufactured everything we've been asked to under contract, and they are finishing up the installation," said William Pottle, Boston Valley Terra Cotta's director of business development. "They're definitely in the home stretch."

Terra Cotta dominates the building's corner at High and Washington streets.

The last load of terra cotta panels was delivered to the site of the new Jacobs School of Medicine & Biomedical Sciences earlier this month, Pottle said.

The terra cotta panels will make up about half of the school's exterior, serving as a high-performance "skin" for the new building. They were designed to connect with Buffalo's rich architectural history. The panels have two custom colors akin to Louis H. Sullivan's Guaranty Building downtown and Frank Lloyd Wright's Darwin D. Martin House in Buffalo's Parkside neighborhood.

The $375 million building at Main and Allen streets is scheduled to open in October to faculty and staff. Students will attend their first classes there in January.

UB's new medical school begins taking on its terra cotta look

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