The Medical Center-WKU Health Sciences Complex officially opened today with a Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce Ribbon Cutting. The 73,471 square foot, three-story facility was constructed at a cost of $15.6 million dollars.
“It is rewarding to see a project that will have such a significant impact on healthcare come to fruition,” said Connie Smith, President and Chief Executive Officer of Commonwealth Health Corporation, parent company of The Medical Center. “The Medical Center-WKU Health Sciences Complex will benefit the hospital and university with much needed educational space. The community will also reap the benefits as this facility will help advance healthcare in Southcentral Kentucky by providing highly educated and trained healthcare professionals.”
The Health Sciences Complex will provide space for The Medical Center to offer advanced training with sophisticated technology for its clinical staff. Twenty percent will be used by the hospital for a conference center and bed labs. The bed labs will utilize patient simulators including an iStan virtual patient. This electronic, interactive patient has pupils that dilate, vital signs that respond to anesthesia, and other life-like responses. Training and education with state-of-the-art equipment such as iStan assures a high standard of skills and knowledge of the hospital’s clinical staff.
Western Kentucky University will benefit from much needed space that will house its nursing and doctorate of physical therapy programs. Eighty percent of the facility will be used by the university to accommodate assembly, training, classroom and business functions for WKU. The university has doubled its enrollment for the nursing program with 80 students scheduled to start the fall 2013 semester on August 26.
"It is our responsibility to ensure a well-trained workforce to meet the needs of the region's healthcare providers," said Dr. Gary A. Ransdell, President of Western Kentucky University. "Thanks to The Medical Center, we now have an exceptional space in which to expand our programs and double the number of nursing students at WKU. This building is also home to our new Doctor of Physical Therapy program, which opened to 30 students earlier this summer. We are grateful for this partnership with The Medical Center, and we applaud the city and county for the visionary leadership to expand the Tax Increment Financing district to include this project."
The Medical Center issued bonds to pay for construction. WKU will lease the facility from The Medical Center for 25 years, income from which will be used toward debt service and operating expenses.
The facility is located at 700 First Avenue on the edge of the hospital’s campus that borders 31W Bypass. Stengel Hill Architecture designed the facility to allow for future expansion. Scott, Murphy & Daniel, LLC served as the general contractor.