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UCA Starts Work on $38M Integrated Health Sciences Building

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The University of Central Arkansas broke ground Friday on its previously announced $37.7 million Integrated Health Sciences Building at Western Avenue and Bruce Street on its campus in Conway.

The four-story, 80,000-SF facility set to open in fall 2021 will be home to the School of Nursing and the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, along with the Nabholz Center for Healthcare Simulation and Interprofessional Teaching Center to be utilized by the College of Health and Behavioral Sciences.

“This new facility will have an immediate impact on the nursing shortage in Arkansas by immediately providing room for 50 more nursing students,” said UCA President Houston Davis in a news release. “Since more than 90% of our health care graduates stay in the state to practice, this is very good news for Arkansans.” 

Students will participate in clinical and simulation experiences that require collaboration with all majors within the college.

“We’re creating an environment for our students that replicates the collaborative environment they will enter as graduates,” Jimmy Ishee, dean of the College of Health and Behavioral Sciences, said. “These transformative experiences prepare our students for internships, employment and ultimately, for careers providing exceptional health care.”

The first floor will house the Interprofessional Teaching Center. The third floor will house the Nabholz Center for Healthcare Simulation, a simulation lab that will more than double the space of the current simulation lab and provide students with carefully programmed, lifelike training scenarios. 

The remaining floors will contain classrooms and office space for faculty and staff.

Planning and architecture for the project is by Taggart Architects. Nabholz Construction is the general contractor. 

Primary funding for the project is provided through a $37.7 million bond appropriation by UCA’s board of trustees. A $5 million fundraising campaign is underway for facility and equipment support. 

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