5/19/11 ASHLAND, OH -- Ashland University has received a $250,000 grant from the Richland County Foundation. Ashland officials say the award will be used for the construction of the University's new Dwight Schar College of Nursing in Mansfield.
The grant, to be paid over a five-year period, will assist the University in constructing the $15.5 million academic and nursing building located at the Balgreen property at Trimble Road and Marion Avenue in Mansfield.
Dr. Fred Finks, president of Ashland University, expressed his gratitude to the foundation, saying, "I am overwhelmed and very thankful for this gift that the foundation has made."
"We are working hard and are on a tight time schedule to try to raise the funds and construct this building in order to have it open for classes in the fall of 2012," Finks said. "We truly appreciate the foundation's support of this project."
Finks said groundbreaking for the new building has been set for June 16 at 1 p.m. at the Balgreen campus.
"There is a great deal of excitement on campus right now regarding the construction of the new $15.5 million Dwight Schar College of Nursing in Mansfield," he said "This facility will enhance our ability to meet the needs of our students in ways we have not been able to before and allow us to educate and prepare nurses who are ready to meet the health care needs of a complex society."
The University submitted a request for funding from the Richland County Foundation on March 4.
In August of 2010, Ashland University acquired MedCentral College of Nursing as part of its strategic plan to expand its health care program to meet the demand for qualified nurses in Ohio and the United States.
The University then launched a $15.5 million fundraising campaign - "Compassion. Community. Commitment. Building a Healthy Tomorrow" - for the construction of a new College of Nursing facility.
"The campaign has received a $5 million lead gift from Ashland University alumnus and longtime supporter Dwight Schar and we are now past the halfway mark of this fundraising campaign," Finks said.
The campaign is being led by Margaret Pomfret, associate vice president of institutional advancement and campaigns.
The new building will replace the old MedCentral facility on Glessner Avenue, which is being leased by the University as part of the agreement with MedCentral.
"Currently, students are taking classes in the old MedCentral facility and this building was constructed in 1923," Finks said. "The nursing faculty, staff and students have seriously outgrown the original structure and need new space specifically designed to accommodate the latest technological advances in nursing education."
This past fall, 64 freshman students were welcomed to Ashland University's nursing program. Nursing students complete their first two years of the program on the Ashland University campus and then move to the Mansfield campus for the last two years of education and clinical studies.
The new facility will include a variety of clinical practice labs, including the Center for Simulations, Health Foundations Practice Lab, Family Health Practice Lab, Adult Health Practice Lab, Complex Care Practice Lab, ICU/CCU/NICU Patient Room and Advanced Care Lab. Other spaces in the College will include traditional classrooms, faculty/staff offices, student study and lounge areas, and student support spaces.
Ashland University (www.ashland.edu<http://www.ashland.edu>) is a mid-sized, private university conveniently located a short distance from Akron, Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio. Ashland University values the individual student and offers a unique educational experience that combines the challenge of strong, applied academic programs with a faculty and staff who build nurturing relationships with their students.