Southwest Tennessee Community College Opens New Nursing Building
After years of planning, design changes, construction obstacles, and funding Southwest will cut the ribbon on its new Nursing, Natural Sciences and Biotechnology Building on Thursday, November 20 at 3 p.m. Designed by Fleming Associates Architecture Firm, the three-story building sits on the corner of Union Avenue and Myrtle Street directly across from Sun Studios. The facility has approximately 61,000 square feet that includes a 250-seat teaching auditorium, four lecture rooms, a computer/tutorial lab for 100 students, four nursing skills labs, and a biotechnology lab with prep room. The new facility will allow Southwest to train up to 400 students a year, a 45 percent increase over the number of students currently served.
Southwest garnered funding for the building through a capital campaign that began in 2005. In addition to state support, the school raised $10 million for the new facility from individuals, corporations, organizations and federal appropriations. Those include a $1 million contribution from Medtronic Inc., the Minneapolis-based company's Spinal and Biologics Business is based in Memphis, and $2 million from FedEx, the largest donation in the college's history. Other significant contributors include Baptist Memorial Health Care and Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare.
The groundbreaking ceremony for the new building was held on August 12, 2010. "It has been a long road," said Vice President for Institutional Advancement Karen Nippert. "But it was apparent that we needed to educate more nurses for entry into our local workforce. We were limited, not because of qualified students; in fact we have a waiting list of qualified students; we were limited because of our facility."
Photo caption: Nursing, Natural Sciences and Biotechnology Building