Owens to move its School of Nursing

PERRYSBURG — Owens Community College plans to move its nursing program under one roof.

At the December board of trustees meeting, Jeffrey Ganues, vice president of business affairs and chief financial officer, provided an update on the renovations for the School of Nursing.

In 2019, a space plan for the campus was developed. Ganues reminded the board he brought the plan to them in February 2020 and then the pandemic delayed much of the progress.

The reasons for the plan were to identify areas for enrollment opportunities, reduce the campus’s overall square footage for better sustainability, and better align programs within each school, Ganues said.

The School of Nursing and its health professions programs are now housed in Heritage Hall, the Health Technologies Hall and Bicentennial Hall.

They will be moved across Oregon Road into what used to be the library, which has been moved to College Hall.

“This move would allow us to potentially evaluate the elimination of the Health Technologies Hall and Bicentennial Hall buildings,” Ganues said.

The demolition would save $18 million in deferred maintenance, $209,851 in annual utilities and eliminate 40,000 square feet, he said.

“Rather than investing in old, aged facilities that do not meet program outcomes because of the layout of the buildings, there’s an opportunity to shift that investment to a brand-new facility,” Ganues said.

By increasing the nursing lab space, the program can enroll more students in six programs, including medical assisting, surgical tech, MRI, health information technology, nursing and dental hygiene, he said.

The updated enrollment projections for those programs includes 156 new students with new tuition revenue anticipated at just short of $1 million.

Preconstruction started July 20 with a walk-through of all labs with architects and engineers.

IT specialists have estimated necessary equipment including audio and visual will cost between $2.4 million to $3.5 million.

Lab equipment inventory has been completed, with an estimated $2.1million in new equipment needed, with $325,000 in moving costs of the specialized equipment.

The college has received $1.5 million from the state’s capital improvement budget to help offset the cost of the work, Ganues said.

Gilbane Building Co. has been selected as the construction manager.

The final project estimate will be shared at the February board meeting with construction to start in late spring, early summer, he said.