The bond would fund the construction of the Allied Health/Human Sciences and Nursing Building, which would help provide North Carolinians increased access to quality health care, especially in rural areas. UNCW has developed a strategic plan for health care programs that includes strong partnerships with practitioners, community colleges and other universities.
This new building would house the College of Health and Human Services (CHHS), including the Center for Healthy Communities; existing academic programs in Health and Applied Human Sciences, Nursing, Clinical Research and Social Work; and related labs and classrooms. In addition, this building would allow CHHS to expand student support services to various student populations, including online students and the veteran population at UNCW.
The building would be located on the Campus for Research, Entrepreneurship, Service and Teaching (CREST), which would give UNCW the ability to create innovative and entrepreneurial space that allows the university to serve the community and offer applied learning experiences for students.
The total cost of the project is $66 million. It is anticipated that the building would take two years to build and should be open during the 2018-19 academic year.
Why is this particular project important to UNCW?
“This is an amazing opportunity for the University of North Carolina Wilmington to address the growing need for highly trained health and human services professionals and increased access to healthcare to underserved communities in North Carolina, especially in rural areas.
Since its establishment in 2010, UNCW’s College of Health and Human Services enrollment has grown 135 percent. Currently over 2,500 students major in one of 10 undergraduate and five graduate degree programs. These programs are in the areas of nursing, public health, social work, gerontology, athletic training, recreation therapy, exercise science, clinical research, physical education and health, and recreation. The Doctor of Nursing Practice, recently approved by the UNC Board of Governors, will be implemented fall 2016, representing the first doctoral degree offered in the college. This dramatic growth has stretched our existing capacity to the limit. The new building would provide much-needed academic support space that is critical to the college’s mission to enhance the health and quality of life for individuals, families and communities and it would well prepare the future healthcare workforce to be successful in these areas.
Specifically, this facility would allow us to accommodate the enrollment growth we have experienced in the first five years of the CHHS. The new facility would offer technology-equipped classrooms, laboratories, faculty and student support space, and related infrastructure necessary for 21st century education for health professions.
We expect the new facility would allow us also to propose expanded undergraduate and graduate degree programs in areas that will address regional and state needs in health and human services. Currently, we are engaged with the Education Advisory Board (EAB) to determine degree programs that would have the most impact in the region and state. EAB will provide detailed academic program viability analysis that will inform the direction of our future academic portfolio to achieve our vision. Functions of the new facility will be informed by this report, and subsequent decisions regarding which programs we will develop and implement, current needs and advancements in space planning and utilization will also inform what types of structures we build and develop.”
How does the selected project help meet your stated educational goals?
“UNCW is committed to not only producing a highly qualified healthcare workforce, but also educating our students to be leaders in the health and human services field. An investment in this building would provide a state-of-the-art learning environment for our current and future students as well as a flexible space and environment that supports research and community engagement. This would include, but not be limited to inter-professional collaborative teaching and research laboratories and centers.”
What impact will completion of the project have beyond the campus?
“The College of Health and Human Services has developed a robust strategic plan that includes strong partnerships with health and human service agencies, practitioners and other universities. The new building would allow us to increase public and private collaborations to respond to health and quality of life needs in our community, our region and our state.”
What other benefits of the bond passage would you like to discuss?
“In addition to supporting the teaching, research and service mission of the CHHS, this building would provide the campus with an opportunity to repurpose existing space to meet the needs of the campus as a whole.”