A rendering shows the planned Alfond Health Sciences Center at the University of New England’s campus in Portland. Rendering courtesy of University of New England

The University of New England is about to start a $93 million project to move the state’s only medical school from Biddeford to Portland.

The Harold and Bibby Alfond Center for Health Sciences will allow UNE to consolidate its health programs at the Portland campus and expand enrollment in Maine’s only medical school.

Health programs are now split between UNE’s Biddeford and Portland campuses. A ceremonial groundbreaking with UNE President James Herbert and other university officials will be held Tuesday at the Portland campus.

The project includes relocating the university’s College of Osteopathic Medicine from Biddeford to the Portland campus, and will allow the medical school to increase its graduating classes from 165 to 200 students. College administrators say they hope the expanded school and health program consolidation will help alleviate shortages of physicians and other health care providers in Maine.

The 112,000-square-foot, four-story center will become home to all of the university’s health profession programs. They include not only the medical school, but programs in dentistry, physician assistant, nursing, social work, pharmacy, physical therapy, occupational therapy, dental hygiene and nursing anesthesia.

As the state’s only medical school, the university has an obligation to address the health care workforce shortage, Herbert said in an interview with the Press Herald in October.


“We are the workforce engine for the health care workforce in the state,” he said, adding that one in three health care professionals in Maine is a University of New England graduate.

The move also is seen as a way to build on the school’s educational and research relationship with Maine Medical Center in Portland.

The new health sciences building is expected to open by June 1, 2024.


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