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Project refreshes nursing program facilities

A renovation project that started earlier this year will provide not only a significant facelift to the facilities used by Yakima Valley College’s nursing program, it will bring all of the programs classes and activities under one roof.

With Washington State University’s nursing program vacating offices and classrooms in Sundquist Hall, the opportunity arose to completely renovate that space to better support YVC’s nursing program and replace much of the building’s mechanical systems. The approximately $1.9 million project is being completed this summer for use starting in fall 2022.

Carol Milliron, interim director of nursing, said YVC’s nursing program will now have additional classroom space that will make it easier to organize class schedules for students. In addition, the project brings the program’s labs, classrooms, nursing instructors and simulation faculty completely under one roof rather than being housed in multiple buildings.

“The lab space is about the same size by square footage [as in the past], but the benefit is that students in theory, lab and simulation will all be in the same building,” Milliron said. “I think that this will bring cohesiveness to the program for both students and faculty.”

Milliron is excited for how that cohesiveness will enhance opportunities for faculty to collaborate and enable a better overall learning experience for students.

“Having the ability to bounce ideas off of each other in an informal manner will be made easier by being in the same location,” she said. “I also know that our students will appreciate being in the same building for all of their learning activities.”

One of the most significant components of the project was an overhaul of the building’s heating and cooling systems, which will be considerably more energy efficient. In addition, Milliron noted that the nursing program uses a large amount of high tech simulation equipment that required updates to the building such as network cabling. The largest classroom also will have a large interactive monitor added.

Beyond those major technology upgrades, nursing faculty and students are looking forward to having new carpeting and paint to freshen up the space and offer a more inviting physical environment.