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Old church to be new site of UCSF pharmacy school


FRESNO, Calif. Dr. Michael Lynch has bought a church in hopes of remodeling it into a school of pharmacy—the University of California at San Francisco School of Pharmacy—by 2011, according to published reports.

Lynch heads a group who are trying to respond to a shortage of pharmacists in Central California. The members of the group, which is now the board of directors, includes business people, medical professionals and college professors.

The group hopes to raise $8 million to build and open the school. Lynch said construction of a three-year school in Fresno could get under way with $2 million, and another $6 million would finish it out. The goal is to complete construction and advertise for students in 2010 and start classes in August 2011.

Students would enroll after getting their undergraduate degrees elsewhere, or must meet a series of undergraduate requirements. The former church was selected because it can be easily renovated, is on a large parcel of land, is centrally located and can accommodate up to 120 students, said John Cummings, a vice president of the State Center Community College District involved with the effort.

New pharmacy schools have opened in California in recent years, including programs at Loma Linda, Vallejo, Pomona and at the University of San Diego. Efforts also are under way at Merritt College in Oakland and in Sacramento, where a group of pharmacists is preparing for accreditation of California Northstate College of Pharmacy.

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