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Contract awarded for construction of Shepherd nursing school

April 07, 2006

SHEPHERDSTOWN, W.Va. - U.S. Sen. Robert C. Byrd, D-W.Va., announced Thursday that a $6.8 million contract has been awarded for the construction of a new state-of-the-art building for Shepherd University's nursing education program.

The $6.8 million construction contract was awarded to Palmer Construction Co. of McConnellsburg, Pa.

Byrd added $10 million to legislation in 2004 for construction of the nursing facility. The two-story, 37,000-square-foot building will house classrooms, labs, office space, conference rooms and student study centers.

"Space constraints on Shepherd's campus have forced nursing students and faculty to make do with inadequate facilities for more than 10 years. The new building will provide current and future students with classrooms, labs, and instructional tools for a top-notch nursing education," Byrd said in a news release.

"West Virginia has one of the oldest populations in the country, and as we age, we need more nurses. This only intensifies the state's and nation's critical nursing shortages," Pam Neal, president of the West Virginia Nurses Association (WVNA), said in the release. "Senator Byrd's effort to help obtain funding for nursing education at Shepherd University signifies his commitment to nurses and patients in West Virginia."

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"We are grateful to Sen. Byrd for providing the funding for our new nursing education building," said David Dunlop, Shepherd University president. "Shepherd University and the entire Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia will benefit immensely from these new nursing education facilities made possible by Sen. Byrd. With his help, Shepherd University will be able to address the nursing shortage in West Virginia, training nursing students in a modern facility with up-to-date equipment and practices."

"The new nursing facility will allow Shepherd to accept more nursing students, many of whom I hope will stay in the state and improve health care for West Virginians," Byrd said.

Construction of the nursing building has begun and is expected to be completed by the summer of 2007.

"Nurses play a critical role in the country's health care system, and they must be trained in modern, specialized facilities," Byrd said.

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