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College of Nursing breaks ground

Photo: An architect rendering shows the new Riverpoint campus building for the WSU Intercollegiate College of Nursing, expected to be completed by the summer of 2008. (Drawings courtesy of the ICN).

There’s a new hole in the ground near the recently completed Academic Center on the Spokane Riverpoint campus. This hole is the new site of the WSU Intercollegiate College of Nursing, and the official groundbreaking ceremony is set for noon Friday, Oct. 20.

The 87,000-square-foot building, with a total budget of nearly $34 million, is scheduled for completion in 2008, which will allow the college to move in during the summer and begin classes in August, said Bob Pringle, nursing library director and a member of the building committee.

The college will move from the western edge of Spokane to the downtown location, putting it close to the hospitals and clinics on Spokane’s South Hill.

“Although we’ll miss our current location, moving to our new building will allow us to partner and work closely with the other health programs offered at the Riverpoint Campus,” said Anne Hirsch, interim dean. “It’s an exciting time for us.”
The building will house:

• distance-learning classrooms that will provide the hub for outreach to Yakima, Tri-Cities, Vancouver and across the state;
• a 12-bed nursing practice lab;
• computer and multimedia laboratories and classrooms;
• research team space and laboratories;
• offices.

The Academic Center will provide library services, general-purpose classrooms and student service/support spaces.

If funds from the Legislature are forthcoming, the new building will allow WSU to increase the number of students it serves, which will address the ongoing shortage of nurses nationwide.

 “Additional faculty and more clinical education experiences need to be in place first before we can commit to actual numbers of new students,” Hirsch said.

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