With construction on NNU’s new student commons well underway—and nearly halfway finished—plans to repurpose the current student center have begun. This project is in preliminary stages and designs have not yet been finalized.
In the coming months, the University will be raising funds to complete the repurposing renovations. The projected cost for the project is $7 million, with the university already having received a generous lead gift of $3 million from alum Jerry and Muriel Caven.
“The scope of a project like this makes it all but impossible for us to complete without a significant lead gift,” said Vice President for External Relations, Mark Wheeler. “The Cavens have quite literally made this opportunity possible as a result of their profound generosity.”
Multiple departments on campus will utilize the new repurposed space including: the College of Nursing, Undergraduate Admissions and multiple offices that currently serve student needs.
With the renovations, the College of Nursing will be able to provide state of the art simulation experiences for its students. There will be a dedicated laboratory space for the Family Nurse Practitioner students as well as increased classroom space. As three of the nursing programs are doubling in size, the additional space is vital to further developing and growing the nursing programs to their highest potential.
“We pride ourselves on providing the best education and learning experiences for our students,” said Dr. Leonie Sutherland, Professor, Chief Nurse Administrator and MS in Nursing Program Director. “However, additional space is needed to allow for the increased number of students based on the university’s current and projected growth.”
Another important piece of the repurposing project will be a space fully dedicated to serving students. It will include the registrar, financial aid and account services offices, all in one centralized area. The goal is to simplify the process so that students can complete all of their transactions in one, easily accessible location.
The student center has always been the place on campus for students to eat together, gather and feel safe in a space where all could come. With the new building renovations, the space will become even more student-centric, specifically in the areas of nursing and giving students a “one-stop shop” to receive the assistance they need. Students have always been the focus on the campus, and with all the new changes, that focus will be exemplified even further.
“The student center repurpose allows us to invest strategically into the future of NNU so we can most effectively meet the needs of our student body,” Wheeler added.
The current student center will be fully vacated January 2020 with plans to break ground on the repurposing project June 1, 2020.