New Construction

UCA Hosts Grand Opening of Integrated Health Sciences Building

The University of Central Arkansas in Conway, Ark., celebrated the grand opening of its new Integrated Health Sciences Building last week. The 80,000-square-foot facility will house multiple organizations in the College of Health and Behavioral Sciences, including the School of Nursing, the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, a newly expanded Nabholz Center for Healthcare Simulation, and an Interprofessional Teaching Center.

“The need for our Integrated Health Sciences Building has probably never been greater,” said UCA President Dr. Houston Davis. “Pre-pandemic, it really was about the educational and the economic development needs of that building. It was really about responding to healthcare shortages, especially those of us producing more nurses, admitting more students into our nursing program and graduating more, but also everything that’s touched by our College of Health and Behavioral Sciences. During the pandemic, I think it’s even more important that we make certain that we’re thinking about the health needs of the state of Arkansas.”

According to a news release, the new facility allows the university to expand its healthcare programs—including capacity for 50 additional nursing students—as well as extend its reach and impact on state healthcare.

The project was funded primarily through a $37.7-million bond appropriation by the UCA Board of Trustees. The university partnered with Taggart Architects for planning and architecture services and with Nabholz Construction for general contracting. Groundbreaking for the four-story facility took place in October 2019.

The grand opening ceremony was part of the university’s $100-million fundraising campaign, UCA Now: Impact Arkansas and Beyond. According to a news release, a $5-million fundraising campaign for the IHSB facility and equipment support is currently ongoing. It has raised $4.8 million so far, including a $1-million donation from the Sunderland Foundation.

About the Author

Matt Jones is senior editor of Spaces4Learning. He can be reached at [email protected].