$30 million structure to include professional pharmacy, research labs
Belmont University broke ground today on an estimated $30 million building that will become the permanent home for the Belmont School of Pharmacy. The building, which has an anticipated completion date of June 2010, will also house the university’s School of Physical Therapy and will include expansion space for the Schools of Nursing and Occupational Therapy as well as the Social Work and Psychology programs. Together with the Inman Center, this new structure will provide a consolidation of all the university’s health science studies—pharmacy, nursing, social work, occupational therapy and physical therapy—on the campus’s northeast corner.
Belmont President Dr. Bob Fisher said, “Establishing a permanent, state-of-the-art facility for our School of Pharmacy represents another significant step for Belmont University in addressing a serious health care provider shortage in this country, especially as it relates to pharmacists and nurses. This building will be a model, 21st century academic facility, providing a venue where our students and faculty resources can intersect in service to help meet the medical needs of our community and our world.”
Designed by Earl Swensson Associates with construction to be done by R.C. Mathews, the 90,000-square-foot building will continue the innovation for which Belmont University has become known, containing top-notch laboratories for both student and faculty research. In addition, the facility will emphasize integrated, “hands on” experiential learning components through medical simulation spaces and a licensed, state-of-the-art pharmacy. The building will also include a four-level underground parking garage to provide additional spaces for Belmont’s growing student body.
Dean of the College of Health Sciences and Nursing Dr. Jack Williams said, “I’m convinced this new building will become known as a major birthplace of this country’s next generation of top pharmacists. By completing and enhancing our health sciences complex, Belmont is providing inter-professional education opportunities for all of our health science students and preparing them to be both competent and compassionate practitioners.”
Welcoming its inaugural class of 75 students this fall, Belmont’s School of Pharmacy will help alleviate the significant shortfall of qualified pharmacists needed both in the state and country at large. The School of Pharmacy seeks to become a nationally-recognized practice and leadership center with a four-pillared approach that will afford students additional focus areas of management, informatics, pharmacotherapy or missions.
Dean of the School of Pharmacy Dr. Phil Johnston said, “The School of Pharmacy building will be a structure that will support an innovative, one-of-a-kind curriculum, with emphasis on pharmacy management, pharmacy missions, pharmacotherapy and information technology. This building will accommodate our full complement of 300 students and the faculty required to provide them a quality education.“
State-of-the-art facilities, challenging medical-model curriculum and varied clinical education sites all contribute to making Belmont’s Doctorate of Physical Therapy (DPT) one of the premier programs in the country. The PT curriculum emphasizes both research and business, and students are given opportunities to practice at clinical sites locally and internationally. The School of Physical Therapy is currently located on the campus’ south side, near the corner of Delmar and 15th Avenues. Moving to the new building in 2010 will unite the program with Belmont’s other health care fields.
The Gordon E. Inman Center, currently the main health sciences building on Belmont’s campus, officially opened at Belmont in June 2006 after 20 months of construction. The $22.5 million facility now houses Belmont’s nursing, social work and occupational therapy programs as well as several general education classes and community conference space.
Click here to see The Tennessean‘s story on the new building.