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New health science building

A new health science building is in the planning stages after receiving an appropriation of $2.8 million as part of the 2011 state budget. The new health science building will be located on North Campus across from South Georgia Medical Center and will provide a more hands on approach for students in Valdosta State University’s nursing program.
“Students would have classrooms at the university and real live learning right next door at SGMC,” Georgia state senator, Tim Golden, said. “That is a win-win for the student, the University and SGMC.”
Nursing student, Catharyn Crosby believes that the new health science building is long overdue.
“Martin Hall, the current nursing building, is falling apart around us every day, not to mention the lack of technology available to us in that building,” Crosby said.
Anita Hufft, dean of the College of Nursing for VSU, said the new facility will contain classrooms, labs, and a simulation lab.
“A good simulation lab will allow us to practice real life situations without fear of injuring a patient,” Crosby said.
Hufft also hopes that the proximity to SGMC will lead to more guest lecturing and an open exchange of research between faculty and SGMC staff.
Crosby is also hopeful about the Health Sciences building being adjacent to SGMC.
“The location of the new health sciences building is perfect,” Crosby said. “It would make going to clinicals as easy as walking across the street. I am just bummed because from what I hear it won’t be done till I am about to graduate.”
Although funding for the design of the Health Sciences building has been approved, construction has not yet been scheduled. Golden said that he would ask for an additional $32 million next year for the actual construction of the building.
“It will be a priority for our delegation,” Golden said.
The web page for VSU’s Finance and Administration conflicts with that timeline, stating that construction is expected to begin January 2011 and be completed by 2012. The Health Sciences building has been put on hold before. According to a Valdosta Scene article by Jessica Hope, the new Health Sciences building has been in the planning stages since at least 2007.
The project was part of a three phase program developed by former VSU President Ronald Zaccari.
“There are many administrators, legislators, faculty and others who have supported this new building for a long time,” Hufft said. “Economic downturns and other priorities have delayed attention to the needs for a new nursing facility. I thank everyone who is making this possible on behalf of our faculty, staff and students. We are truly grateful.”
The new Health Sciences building will also be home to other departments such as Social Work, Communication Disorders, Sports Medicine, and Marriage and Family Therapy and will be the only health education building in the state directly across from a major hospital facility.

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