SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - Another major part of the Georgia state budget, $22 million is going towards the construction of a new College of Health Professions Center at Armstrong State University.
A groundbreaking is scheduled for August. It will be open to students January 2019.
The building has been strategically designed to offer a team-oriented approach to healthcare education and to simulate the environment of a hospital or medical facility. It will be outfitted with a state-of-the-art Simulation Suite.
Armstrong President Linda Bleicken saying, quote:
Since 2008, Armstrong has graduated more undergrad health professionals than any university in Georgia. Progress like this will help keep the new Georgia Southern University-Armstrong campus relevant when it comes to healthcare.
"Oh, it's enormously more competitive. The reality is, we have good facilities here but they are a little dated. Getting to current facilities makes us more attractive to potential students and as I mentioned earlier enables us to educate them so that they are prepared from day one to practice their discipline in a team-based environment," said College of Health Professions Dean David Ward. "This new building will enable us to create simulation suites, that allow them to simulate working as a team. That piece is critical and it's just space we don't have in our current structures to do."
The $22 million budget will also include renovations at Ashmore Hall. These could potentially be the first steps towards a healthcare neighborhood on campus.
"They already said Armstrong graduates so many health professionals. So, the money and putting the effort into it, t's just going to continue to get better," said Lauren Tucker, a nursing student at Armstrong.
WTOC was told Tuesday that the faculty here at Armstrong is still going to have a hand in working with the architects on this project clear through the merging process.
As for the next steps in the consolidation process, the work of the implementation committee will be given to the Board of Regents for consideration in December. If approved, implementation plans will be finalized come January.
The tentative timeline for the first entering class of this new university will be in fall of 2018.