University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown President Dr. Jem Spectar (center) is joined
by dignitaries, faculty, and a student in a ribbon-cutting ceremony Friday, Sept. 27,
at the university’s grand opening of its Nursing and Health Sciences Building.
The University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown, today, officially opened its new Nursing and Health Sciences Building with a ribbon cutting ceremony presided over by campus President Dr. Jem Spectar. The new facility is the latest in a more than $40 million effort that has included the construction of two new buildings and significant renovation of several others.
Also participating in today’s ceremony were Pitt-Johnstown Advisory Board Chairperson Dr. Barbara Parkins ‘80, Pitt-Johnstown Faculty Senate President Dr. Stephen Kilpatrick, Senator John Wozniak ‘78, and Pitt-Johnstown Staff Association Council President Mark Dougherty. The ceremony was attended by faculty, staff, students, alumni, and community members.
Dr. Spectar remarked, “The new building provides first-class teaching and learning facilities for our faculty and students, propels us toward greater distinction in the STEM [science, technology, engineering, mathematics] fields and helps us prepare graduates who are ready for the RealWorld. We are grateful for all the collaborations that made this monumental achievement possible.”
The $12 million, 26,000-square-foot facility, located next to the Engineering and Science Building, features 11 laboratories for chemistry and biology, one nursing simulation laboratory, six faculty offices, and two seminar/classrooms spread over two floors. A ground breaking ceremony for the facility was held in August 2012. At the time, completion was projected for mid-October of this year. The Nursing and Health Sciences Building brings the total number of buildings on the 655-acre class to 38 and is expected to earn Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification.
The school graduated its first class of nursing students in April of this year. The program is currently at capacity with 160 students enrolled.
In his remarks at the ceremony, President Spectar expressed appreciation to the Commonwealth for the $4 million in support that it offered to the school in 2008. He also acknowledged the many community members who supported the need for the building, including the Johnstown Educational Foundation, which provided $300,000 in funding.
Nursing classes will move into the building on Tuesday, October 15, after the school’s fall break. Biology and chemistry classes start later in the semester.
Forty-six years ago, yesterday, Dwight Eisenhower dedicated the school’s Richland Township campus. The campus cost $8 million, which is $4 million less than the cost to construct the Nursing and Health Sciences Building.
The building was designed by Pittsburgh-based MacLachlan, Cornelius & Filoni and construction was managed by Mascaro Construction. Fiore Construction served as the general contractor.
Founded in 1927, 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 in the Northeast” college, by G.I. Jobs as a “Military Friendly School,” by AC Online as one of the “Highest ROI Colleges in Pennsylvania,” and by Pennsylvania Business Central as a "Top 100 Organization." Additionally, Pitt-Johnstown has been named to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for the past three years.