The University of Pittsburgh Board of Trustees approved construction of the much-anticipated Nursing and Health Sciences Building on the Pitt-Johnstown campus. The 26,000-square-foot facility will include 11 laboratories for chemistry and biology, one nursing simulation laboratory, six faculty offices, and two seminar/classrooms spread over two floors. Located next to the Engineering and Science Building, the facility will complete the signature academic quad on the campus. At a projected cost of $12 million, the building is a significant component in a string of capital projects that have occurred on the campus in the past five years totaling more than $30 million. Construction will be managed by Pittsburgh-based Mascaro, with completion expected in the fall of 2013. The building 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. A groundbreaking for the building is being planned for August.
President Jem Spectar enthusiastically offered, "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 science building enhances our capacity to provide first-class learning facilities, propels us toward greater distinction in the STEM fields, and furthers our movement to the forefront of baccalaureate colleges."
The Nursing and Health Sciences Building is the first academic building to be constructed on the campus in nearly two decades and will complement the academic quad formed by Biddle, Blackington, and Krebs Halls, and the Engineering and Science Building. With laboratory and classroom space for growing programs in biology, chemistry, and nursing, the facility will meet the educational needs a large majority Pitt-Johnstown's overall student population including not only the students who major in those areas, but those who complete coursework in those areas as requirements for graduation. Nearly 20% of all Pitt-Johnstown students are pursuing majors in the medical professions, including the recently revamped pre-med program. In the upcoming academic year, the nursing program will be at full capacity with 160 students and its first class will graduate in the spring. Just this week, Pitt-Johnstown announced a new partnership with Windber Research Institute that will promote education in the vitally important STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) fields.
Dr. 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."
Groundbreaking for the new building will be scheduled in the near future, with details being announced soon. The entire community will be encouraged to attend the event, which will also be part of our school's 85th anniversary celebration.
Detailed plans for the facility can be found at: www.pitt-johnstown.pitt.edu/NHSBuilding.]
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.