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HomeNewsLocal newsUVI Breaks Ground on New Nursing Learning Center on St. Croix

UVI Breaks Ground on New Nursing Learning Center on St. Croix

Officials break ground Monday for the University of the Virgin Islands' new nursing learning center on St. Croix. (Photo courtesy UVI)
Officials break ground Monday for the University of the Virgin Islands’ new School of Nursing learning center on St. Croix, including UVI CFO Shirley Lake King, contractor Desmond Celestine, DS&R Construction, and architect Renee D’Adamo, UVI Director of Campus Operations on St. Croix Nereida Washington, Board of Trustees Vice Chair Oran Roebuck, Health Commissioner Justa Encarnacion, former Sen. Kurt Vialet, Lt. Gov. Tregenza Roach, UVI President David Hall, Senate President Novelle Francis, and Thurgood Marshall College Fund President Dr. Harry Williams. (Photo courtesy of UVI)

The University of the Virgin Islands School of Nursing will soon have a brand-new, state-of-the-art learning facility on St. Croix.

At a groundbreaking ceremony held Monday on the Albert A. Sheen Campus, UVI officials, government dignitaries, students, and guests gathered to celebrate the construction of the 11,800-square-foot building that will serve as the learning center for nursing students and house the university’s Health Services Department, the school announced. It is expected to be completed by 2025.

The funding for the new facility is a $6.5 million HBCU Capital Financing Loan, according to UVI.

“It is special because we are doing something that is going to benefit generations to come,” said UVI President David Hall at the groundbreaking ceremony. “The nurses that we produce at this university go on to serve this community in the hospitals, in clinics, in so many different settings. We want to be sure that they are being trained in facilities that are the best that one can provide because they are the best that we have,” he said.

Hall recognized faculty, staff, students, federal and local government officials, as well as Thurgood Marshall College Fund President and CEO Dr. Harry Williams, who attended the event, for his advocacy.

“I just want to indicate to all of you how proud I am that we have worked together to transform the future of the Virgin Islands,” said Hall.

The one-story, steel-framed building will include two clinical labs with a classroom capacity of 28 students and a shared observation room, four hospital room simulations, a classroom with a capacity of 24, a student break area, a student collaboration area, a study/debriefing room, a large conference room, and six faculty offices as well as a dean’s office, the press release stated.

The Health Services area, to be used by students needing medical attention, will include a triage/lab, two exam rooms, a recovery area, two offices, and a covered outdoor breezeway with seating for 17, it said.

Lt. Gov. Tregenza Roach lauded the new facility as critical to healthcare in the U.S. Virgin Islands and beyond.

“We are poised to have a quality healthcare system in the territory with these facilities at our disposal that will be critical in addressing the health needs of the people of the Virgin Islands as well as the health needs of our neighbors in the Caribbean who have no facilities that are comparable to the ones we have here,” said Roach.

Roach went on to thank Hall and others — including former Sen. Kurt Vialet, who was instrumental in supporting the School of Nursing building project and other related UVI initiatives.

Vialet applauded the UVI nursing program for its rigor and recognizing students for the high pass rate on the National Council Licensure Exam.

Nursing student representative Kanicia Hendricks also offered remarks. “As a nursing student, I am truly excited about the tremendous potential that this new school offers. I eagerly anticipate the positive impact it will have on our educational journey and the future of nursing in the Virgin Islands,” she said.

The project also includes renovation in the adjacent parking area, new underground utilities, sidewalks, and a new pedestrian bridge connecting the building to the adjacent UVI Medical Simulation Center. The building, designed by Renee M D’Adamo, AIA Architect, LLC and constructed by DS&R Construction, LLC, is expected to take 18 months to complete for opening in 2025, the release stated.

The new facility will replace six modular buildings erected in 1997 adjacent to the Melvin Evans Center. Those buildings will be repurposed to serve other campus needs, according to the release.

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