Good news for the medical community in South Georgia. Valdosta State University has started building a $32 million Health Sciences building that South Georgia Medical Center is helping to fund.
That means better health education and more jobs for the area.
It may be hard to imagine a state of the art Health Sciences building on this construction site now but come January 2014, the 140,000 square-foot facility will open. It's been ten years in the making for Valdosta State.
"There are people here who have been drawing up plans and dreaming about it for many many years and we're very grateful to South Georgia Medical Center for partnering with us because that's the perfect match for a Health Sciences building," said Dr. Karla Hull, VP of Academic Affairs.
South Georgia Medical Center is giving VSU $1 million to help build the facility, in hopes that students graduating with Heath Sciences degrees will work at the hospital.
"We're looking for nurses and we're looking for mid level employees to help us in this facility and we believe that this is a good avenue for us to take," said Bill Forbes, SGMC Chief Planning Officer.
The building will house six Health Sciences programs including nursing and athletic training.
Haul says it took an immense community effort to get the state legislature to help with the funding. She says the project almost didn't happen.
"South Georgia is in desperate need of this kind of facility, and I think collectively that voice was finally heard. It's easy in these tough economic times, it's easy to cut programs and it's hard to build new ones," said Hull.
Other programs to come to the facility include Communication Sciences and Disorders, Exercise Physiology, Social Work, and Health Care Administration. It will also house a medical simulation center, laboratories, nursing clinics open to the public and much more. @
SGMC also hopes to connect the facility with the hospital by building a pedestrian walkway.