Shenandoah University will officially break ground today on its 71,000 square-foot Health & Life Sciences Building. Designed by Earl Swensson Associates (ESa) of Nashville, Tenn., the building will serve as a new home to the university’s athletic training, biology, chemistry, nursing, respiratory care and pre-health programs. General contractor Howard Shockey & Sons of Winchester, Va., has projected a completion date of Aug. 18, 2014, for occupation for the fall 2014 semester.
“I am thrilled that we are breaking ground today on a facility that will serve as the academic living room for our campus,” said President Tracy Fitzsimmons, Ph.D. “With state-of-the-art laboratories and technology-rich classroom spaces, our new Health & Life Sciences Building will provide a place for students, faculty and staff – as well as community members – to meet, study and learn together.”
Academic spaces in the facility will include standard and active-learning classrooms; teaching labs; a 2,000 square-foot, 16-table cadaver lab; a nursing skills lab and simulation suite; a large meeting space; and cutting-edge classroom technologies that support active learning. Modern lab spaces will allow faculty to teach new courses, expand teaching methods and give students opportunities for more hands-on research. These labs can be used for an array of courses across program curricula. The building will also include faculty offices, study spaces, lounges and community areas.
Once nursing and respiratory care move from their current facilities at the university’s Health Professions Building (located at Valley Health System’s Winchester campus) into the new building, other university graduate programs, in occupational therapy (OT), physician assistant studies (PA) and physical therapy (PT), will move into the vacated spaces. These three programs are currently housed in off-campus, leased buildings. They will access the new cadaver lab and locker room spaces on the third floor of the new Health & Life Sciences Building on main campus.
The university will fund the $25 million dollar capital project by transitioning current lease payments to debt payments with additional funding from the capital fund and private fundraising dollars. Fitzsimmons and other members of the Shenandoah University community worked diligently throughout the 2012-13 school year to raise the funds necessary, with generous gifts pledged by university trustees and friends as recently as May 2013.
A “foundation celebration” will be held in lieu of a traditional ceremonial groundbreaking event. On the afternoon of Thursday, Aug. 22, the university will celebrate the first phase of construction by holding a special event on the foundation of the building.
Click here to read more about the new Health & Life Sciences Building.