Nursing expansion set to open on schedule

By Corbin Hosler, Multimedia Editor

The nursing school expansion is set to open on schedule in January 2011. Photo: Marianne Pickens

Construction on the 52,000-square foot expansion for the Kramer School of Nursing is progressing ahead of schedule.

Officials broke ground on the $9 million expansion in October 2009 and say it will open on schedule in January 2011.

“Most construction projects usually run past their deadline, but they’re actually a little bit ahead of schedule on this,” said Dr. Marvel Williamson, dean of the school. “Because of the recession there aren’t many projects going on, so labor and supplies are plentiful.”

Professors and students are excited for the addition’s completion because of overcrowding in their current building.

“They’re really crammed into small areas there,” Williamson said of the current building, which was built in 1994 and designed to house about 75 students, not the 300 the program has. “Everyone’s been good sports about it, but we’re happy to triple our space.”

The additional space greatly improves the education students will receive, said Dr. Susan Barnes, associate nursing professor.

“It’s significant because nursing education is very intense, and it’s difficult when we have to farm our students out to other buildings it’s difficult to form relationships with the students,” she said. “This is a great opportunity for the students to have an expanded world in which to function.”

Jamie Rosas said he is looking forward to the much-needed expansion.

“Right now you have one lab for the junior and senior classes,” the nursing junior said. “When you have to wait hours in a lab to perform your task, by the time it comes around, you don’t want to do it anymore.

“With the new building we’ll be able to get in and do our stuff and get out. That’s always good.”

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