USF Revives Nursing Curriculum With $14 Million Tampa Addition

Tue February 17, 2004 - Southeast Edition
Cynthia W. Wright

The University of South Florida (USF) in Tampa recently embarked on the first phase of an ambitious capital construction project.

In an effort to dramatically update its Health Sciences Center and rejuvenate its nursing curriculum, USF is is constructing a new College of Nursing Building and Center for Integrated Education.

The $14 million, 77,000- sq. ft. (7,154 sq m) building will double the size of the current College of Nursing –– the school’s first major renovation in its 30-year history.

The college’s addition –– adding 32,000 sq. ft. (2,973 sq m) of new space –– is expected to be complete by August 2004; the renovation of 45,000 sq. ft. (4,181 sq m) of existing space is slated for completion February 2005.

The facility will be a model for 21st century nursing education. In an era nursing shortages, the building is designed to attract the cream of the nursing crop, said USF President Judy Genshaft “We are poised to be in the top tier of nursing programs in the country.”

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida and the USF College of Nursing joined forces for the new building. The Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida Center for Advanced Nursing will be at the axis of the new USF Healthcare and Education Center.

A private gift of $500,000 from the Miller family was donated in memory of George and Marian Miller to build the Marian Miller Center for Virtual Learning. Students will have the opportunity to train on equipment that simulates aspects of patient care, working with life-sized robotic patients programmed with real-time life-and-death scenarios.

Alfonso Architects designed the structure.

Visitors to the modern College of Nursing will step into a two-story galleria entrance. –– the new ’front door’ to the Health Sciences Center. This connects the nursing school with the College of Medicine and the USF Medical Clinic.

The new facility will include smart classrooms. In this environment, students and faculty connect to affiliate hospitals and other clinical sites.

The centerpiece of the three-story complex will be the Center for Integrated Learning, which brings together nursing and medical students to develop and test clinical and diagnostic skills. There will be three U-shaped, tiered classrooms bringing instructors closer to students, facilitating group discussions.

The third floor will house faculty and administrative offices and conference rooms, allowing space for future growth.

Ajax Building Corporation is the construction manager. Ajax began the project in May 2003.

The renovation of the College of Nursing and shared education areas will involve:

• 8,887 ft. (2,708 m) of pipe;

• 356 tons (323 t) of structural steel;

• 1,920 cu. yds. (1,468 cu m) of concrete;

• 181,380 lbs. (82,273 kg) of reinforcing steel;

• 11,476 sq. ft. (1,066.2 sq m) of gypsum board;

• 60,000 lbs. (27,216 kg) of sheet metal ductwork;

• 10,950 sq. ft. (1,018 sq m) of precast concrete panels;

• and 13, 581 sq. ft. (1,262 sq m) of aluminum exterior panels.

McGeehan Excavating Contractors is the subcontractor on site.

“We’re presently installing a new sanitary sewer. Next it will be the storm sewer. Then we do the water and fire,” said Michael McGeehan, area supervisor.

Equipment for these jobs will include a Komatsu 300 trackhoe, a Komatsu 200 rubber- tired wheel loader and a 340D grading tractor.

“We’re also doing some demo work, taking up some of the old road and curbing, along with some existing utilities,” said McGeehan.

With 20 people working six days a week, the company’s only obstacle so far has been the busy parking situation, he noted. “Keeping everyone accommodated –– visitors, patients and deliveries –– takes some maneuvering and compromise.”

The second building on the Health Sciences campus, scheduled to begin construction in fall 2004, will host an ambulatory surgery outpatient medical center and a patient support library.

A third phase, a renovation of the present USF Medical Clinic, will include a teaching academy for training primary care physicians and nurses. This phase is on track for early 2006.

The total cost for all three phases is $50 million.