6/7/11 ASHLAND, OH -- Ashland University will hold a groundbreaking ceremony on June 16 for the new $15.5 million Dwight Schar College of Nursing facility located at the corner of Trimble Road and Marion Avenue in Mansfield.
The event, to be held at 1 p.m. near the parking lot on the west side of the property at 1020 S. Trimble Road, is free and open to the public.
The ceremony will feature remarks from Ashland University President Dr. Fred Finks and will include greetings from several members of the Mansfield community, including Donald Culliver, mayor of the city of Mansfield; Kevin Nestor, president of the Richland County Chamber of Commerce; and James Meyer, CEO of MedCentral Health Systems, as well as the co-chairs for the University's fundraising campaign for the building -- Gayle Gorman Freeman, president of Manairco Inc. in Mansfield, and Dr. Michael L. Amalfitano, president of Mid-Ohio Heart Clinic Inc. Senator Bill Harris, an honorary chair for the campaign, also will present greetings.
Following the ceremony and the actual groundbreaking, refreshments will be available.
"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," Finks said. "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."
The new 46,000-square-foot 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.
"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," Finks said.
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.
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.