UNA nursing plans for new building

by Student Writer John Ed Dearman

As Floyd Hall will soon fall, the new home of nursing will rise from its ashes.

Department chairs, professors, students and the dean have already begun planning for the new technology and layout of the building.

“We have visited several colleges of nursing, which have brand new buildings, to make sure that ours is every bit as current and up-to-date as it should be,” said Dean of the College of Nursing Vicki Pierce. “The plans are that Floyd will start coming down during the summer, but it might not happen until the fall.”

She said the new building will likely take 18 months to complete.

Before the demolition of Floyd can begin, all the departments which are still in the building must move out, she said.

While all the other sciences have moved into their new building, the Science and Technology Building, the department of Human Environmental Sciences is still in Floyd. Pierce said moving HES out is the last step before demolition of Floyd can begin.

She said funds have started coming in for the building.

“We have some donors that give us money in increments,” she said. “They don’t just give it to us all at once. Some of that has already been coming in, and we will be getting more of it in the next months.”

She said they have already worked with an architect to create the designs. Pierce said the architect has been looking at the designs of the other buildings on campus to get a better idea of what the building should look like.

“UNA has beautiful architecture,” she said. “We just want to make sure our new building has the same look and feel as the rest of campus just so it doesn’t stand out too much.”

She said the nursing building will have many new features it does not have now.

“Currently, we only have one-and-a-half floors in Stevens Hall for our whole entire department,” she said. “That doesn’t leave much room for our students where they can group together. With this new building, we will have a lot more meeting areas and study rooms specifically for our students to use.”

She said the simulation lab will have more advanced technology to better represent a real-life hospital atmosphere.

“We will have eight simulation rooms all in one section of the building,” she said. “Our desire is to have it as much like a hospital as you could imagine, so you could walk in and forget that you were in an educational environment.”

Senior Austin Fuller, who is a nursing major, said he thinks new technology would improve the learning experience for students.

“All the nursing equipment we use now is so old and outdated, and we keep on using it and using it and it really wears it down,” he said. “I think if it was newer and more modern it would feel less like we were in class and more like we were in a real world situation.”

Nursing student senior Dillon Green said having a new building will contribute to the program.

“Nursing is such an important part of this institution,” he said. “A lot of people are drawn to UNA because of the nursing opportunities that are here, so having a new facility will further add to the great things we already have.”

There will also be more faculty offices as well as larger classrooms, Pierce said.

“We are hoping with this new building that it will increase the number of nursing students,” she said. “And that will be such an excellent boost for our program.”