The University of Central Arkansas celebrated its new Integrated Health Sciences Building during a grand opening event in Conway last weekend.
The 80,000-square-foot facility offers expanded educational opportunities for UCA’s health care students and faculty and houses the School of Nursing, the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, and an expanded Nabholz Center for Healthcare Simulation.
The new building is also home to an interprofessional teaching center, the first of its kind in the region. The interprofessional teaching center, which intends to prepare students for careers as health care professionals, is named in partnership with the Conway Regional Health System as a symbol of the system’s continued support of UCA’s innovation in health education programs.
During the event, UCA President Houston Davis announced,“The Conway Regional Health System has long been a health care and wellness champion for our communities and a dedicated health care partner with UCA. We are proud of this partnership and thankful for their legacy of support.”
The new IHSB allows for the expansion of the university’s health care programs’ size, reach and impact on the state’s health care resources. This impact will be immediately realized through the addition of 50 more nursing students during a national nursing shortage. With more than 90% of UCA’s health care graduates remaining in the state, Arkansans will reap substantial health benefits.
Planning and architecture for the facility is by Taggart Architects. Nabholz Construction is the general contractor for the project. Primary funding for the project is provided through a $37.7 million bond appropriation by the UCA Board of Trustees.
Currently, a $5 million fundraising campaign is underway for the new IHSB facility and for equipment support. The building campaign has raised $4.8 million for the project to date, which includes a $1 million gift from the Sunderland Foundation. The private foundation focuses on supporting construction projects, with a passion for health care and education. Gifts to the building project are honored through the naming of specific spaces within the facility. These named spaces will remain for the life of the building. Those interested in making a gift to the building can contact Maegan Dyson, assistant vice president of development, at email@example.com or (501) 499-4674.
The College of Health and Behavioral Sciences is the largest college at UCA and one of the state’s primary sources of health care professionals. The college has more than 1,200 affiliations and contracts with health care entities across the state, while students participate in approximately 420,000 hours of clinical, internship and practicum hours annually.