Monday, March 26, 2001

Gala opening for Children's Hospital center

Sabin, Gates are guests of honor

By Tim Bonfield
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        The widow of Dr. Albert Sabin and the father of Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates will be in Cincinnati Tuesday to celebrate the opening of a $23 million education center that bears Dr. Sabin's name.

        The opening is the latest step in a four-part, $160 million construction project at Children's Hospital Medical Center, one of the nation's busiest pediatric centers.

        The Albert B. Sabin Education Center includes a 300-seat auditorium, several smaller conference rooms, a health resource center for families, a medical library for researchers, a food court, a convenience store and offices for several community programs.

        Dr. Sabin, who died in 1993, invented an oral polio vaccine that is credited for nearly wiping the disease off the planet. He is considered one of Cincinnati's greatest medical researchers.

        In one of the biggest ceremonies in years at Children's Hospital, Heloisa Sabin is scheduled to cut the ribbon on the education center at about 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.

        The main speaker will be Bill Gates Sr., co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and father of the computer software magnate.

        The Gates Foundation has donated millions worldwide to efforts to battle polio, malaria, hepatitis and other diseases.

        Along with the education center, a 400-space garage that doubles the amount of visitor parking at the hospital is to open Tuesday.

        The first part of the construction project, a nine-story $35 million research tower, was completed in September 2000.

        Construction continues on the final part of the project, an eight-story patient care tower at the corner of Burnet and Erkenbrecher avenues. The tower is expected to be complete in fall 2002.


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