The construction of the nursing building, one of the most anticipated projects on John Brown University’s campus, is ahead of schedule, according to Steve Brankle, director of facilities.
Brankle said the inside of the building is progressing faster than anticipated and the outside is scheduled to be completed by the deadline on July 1.
“We will start moving all the equipment and furnishings in around mid-June. The building will open for the fall semester 2017,” Brankle said. “People are very excited about it. They love the design and open feeling.”
While there are not official tours of the building to date, Brankle said, “The contractors are pushing really hard and we need to stay out of their way. We really need to respect the workers.”
Brankle added, “We are very excited to open this building. It is exciting to have this major added and to have this wonderful new building.”
Five nursing students, including junior Brianna Bowerman, were given a special opportunity to have a preview tour.
“I was amazed to see all the work that had already been completed. I worked grounds crew over the summer and have gotten to see the entire process of constructing the nursing building,” Bowerman said. “From watching the demolition of the duplexes to now being able to walk in the building is an incredible opportunity.”
Bowerman said she sees a lot of potential for the building. “Dr. Odell has done an incredible job in the planning of the building. The way the building is made allows potential to be expanded in future years.”
Miranda Wolfe, sophomore nursing major, said when she first walked in the building, she was speechless and impressed.
“It was a very surreal moment to be able to see where we will be spending a significant portion of our time over the next two years,” Wolfe said.
“The potential for this building is of great magnitude; it has the potential to bring strangers together, form them into a cohort of learners and teachers and to integrate learning with reality and with faith,” Wolfe said.
Wolfe said she is most excited to have a common location where nursing students can study and do group and research projects. She also anticipates the hands-on experience the program will bring.
“I am very grateful to Dr. Odell for all she has done to allow the nursing students to be a part of the building process, not only of the physical building, but of the actual program as well,” Wolfe said.
Anna Klein, sophomore nursing major, said she was humbled and stunned when she took the tour.
“Our building has so many unique qualities; Dr. Odell helped design it with community, functionality and excellence in mind,” Klein said. “Even though it is still in the making, we will have study nooks, a kitchen and conference rooms that will be open to the nursing students.”
She said she is excited for the simulations labs because she has never seen one.
“One section of our building will be set up like a small hospital, nursing station and all, so we will have the opportunity to practice in a setting similar to where we will actually be working!” Klein said.
Bowerman said she is thankful for the work that has gone into the facility.
“I’m so grateful for everyone who has donated and provided this opportunity for the nursing students,” Bowerman said. “To be part of JBU’s first nursing cohort is an incredible experience and I’m grateful for the people enabling this