Officials at William Paterson broke ground on a new academic building as part of a long-range plan to modernize the school’s academic facilities.
The 78,000 square-foot facility will feature specialized classrooms and clinical spaces for the university’s nursing, communication disorders, and public health programs. It will also contain 16 general-use classrooms. These classrooms will feature electronic “smart” boards and can be reconfigured to meet a variety of academic requirements.
Patient simulation labs will be constructed to provide better clinical training for nursing students. A state-of-the-art speech and hearing clinic will have digital monitoring technology and dedicated therapy rooms. Construction is expected to be complete in 2016.
“It is a tangible example of our commitment to provide our faculty and students with state-of-the-art facilities designed to support our superior academic programs focused on teaching and research,” said university President Kathleen Waldron. “It also reinforces the important role William Paterson plays as a provide of health sciences education in New Jersey.”
The $40 million long-range plan calls for the upgrading of the school’s six academic buildings, which are becoming outdated, in the next 10 years. Part of the money comes from the $750 million Building Our Future Bond Act. Voters approved the act via a referendum last year.
“Most of them were built in the 1950s and 60s and they need to be upgraded so we can keep up with our enrollment growth projections,” said Stephen Bolvai, vice president for administration and finance. “We expect to go from 11,500 students to 13,000 and the facilities we have now don’t meet the needs for students and faculty members to have an excellent learning environment.”