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Nursing center work to begin right away, official says

November 24, 2004|by DAVE McMILLION

charlestown@herald-mail.com

SHEPHERDSTOWN, W.Va. - A new $10 million nursing facility at Shepherd University could be built in about 21/2 years, a school official said Tuesday.

The building, which is needed to serve a growing number of nursing students at Shepherd, likely will be constructed on the east campus beside Sara Cree Hall, said Ed Magee, vice president for administration and finance.

The area is a parking lot, Magee said. The parking lot, or part of it, will be removed to make way for the facility, he said.

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On Monday, U.S. Sen. Robert C. Byrd, D-W.Va., announced he had secured the $10 million needed to build the nursing facility through the fiscal year 2005 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies Appropriations bill.

The facility is expected to be at least 50,000 square feet and will include classrooms, labs, office space, conference rooms and student study centers, Byrd said.

The design process for the facility will begin immediately and will take about a year to complete, Magee said. Construction will take about 14 months, Magee said.

Although the building will remove some parking on the east campus, it should not pose a parking problem, especially since a new lot was opened at the school this year, Magee said.

As new buildings are built at the school, school officials might need to consider building a parking garage, Magee said.

"I don't think we will have to do that immediately," Magee said.

Byrd said West Virginia and much of the country is facing a serious shortage of nurses and the new facility will allow the school to admit more nurses, hopefully resulting in more nurses staying in the area.

The new facility will allow Shepherd University to expand its nursing program in a number of ways, school President David L. Dunlop said.

In addition to its four-year program, Shepherd is considering offering a master's degree in nursing, Dunlop said.

School officials also are considering offering an accelerated four-year nursing program where students can complete the program in three years by going to school year-round, Dunlop said.

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