The University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown broke ground today for its new Nursing and Health Sciences Building. Members of the community were in attendance for the ceremony along with Pitt-Johnstown students, faculty, and staff. The ceremony took place at the construction site, where site preparation had already been underway.
Pitt-Johnstown President Jem Spectar presided over the ceremony, and was joined by Pitt-Johnstown Advisory Board Chair Barbara Parkins ‘80, Pitt-Johnstown Faculty Senate Vice-President Stephen Kilpatrick, Staff Association Council President Sherri Rae, Student Government Association President Cliff Maloney ’13, Associate Vice-Chancellor, University of Pittsburgh Facilities Management Joseph Fink, Chairperson of the Greater Johnstown Regional Partnership Mark Pasquerilla, The Honorable John N. Wozniak ’78, The Honorable Bryan Barbin, President of the Cambria County Commissioners Douglas Legenfelder, Vice-President of Richland Township Supervisors Wayne Langerholc, and Johnstown City Mayor Thomas Trigona ’66.
In announcing the project, President Spectar commented, “This is a monumental step on the ongoing transformation of our campus that fulfills a significant and lofty goal in our New Dimension of Excellence strategic plan. The new building enhances our capacity to provide first-class learning facilities, propels us toward greater distinction in the STEM [science, technology, engineering, mathematics] fields and furthers our movement to the forefront of baccalaureate colleges.” More than 40% of Pitt-Johnstown’s students are enrolled in STEM majors.
The 26,000-square-foot facility, at a projected cost of $12 million, will include 11 laboratories for chemistry and biology, one nursing simulation laboratory, six faculty offices, and two seminar/classrooms spread out over two floors. Nearly 20% of all Pitt-Johnstown students are pursuing majors in the medical professions, including the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program, which will graduate its first class in the spring of 2013. The BSN degree, initiated in 2010, is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) through the University Of Pittsburgh School Of Nursing.
President Spectar added, “As significant a moment as this is for our campus, it is also a victory for our community given the many community members who supported the need for this building. We are especially grateful to the community leaders who helped us in our appeal to the Commonwealth to provide $4 million for the project, as well as to the Johnstown Educational Foundation, which pledged $300,000 for the facility. We are, of course, also grateful to our colleagues at the University of Pittsburgh-Oakland for their support in bringing this project to fruition.”
The Nursing and Health Sciences Building will bring the total number of buildings on the 655-acre campus to 38. The last major construction project began in 2009 with the groundbreaking for the Wellness Center. The Nursing and Health Sciences Building, which is expected to be complete in fall 2013, was designed by Maclachlan, Cornelius & Filoni of Pittsburgh, and has a sustainable/green design that is expected to earn Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification, thereby becoming the first LEED-certified building on campus. Celebrating its 85th anniversary this year, Pitt-Johnstown is located in the Laurel Highlands of Western Pennsylvania and is the first and largest regional campus of the University of Pittsburgh. The University offers a high-quality educational experience in a supportive living-learning environment designed to prepare students for the real world of the 21st century. Pitt-Johnstown is recognized by the Princeton Review as a “Best Northeastern College,” by G.I. Jobs as a “Military Friendly School,” and Pennsylvania Business Central as a "Top 100 Organization" for 2011. Additionally, Pitt-Johnstown has been named to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll.
Above Photo: Pitt Associate Vice Chancellor for Facilities Management Joseph Fink, Pitt-Johnstown President Dr. Jem Spectar, and Pennsylvania State Senator and Pitt-Johnstown Alumnus John Wozniak were joined by Pitt-Johnstown Nursing students at today’s groundbreaking ceremony.
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