A ceremonial groundbreaking on May 12 marked the start of construction of a $106 million Health Sciences Center at St. John’s University in Queens.
The structure will house a new Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing (BSN) program at the private Catholic university, along with other health sciences programs. It will include active learning classrooms, laboratories, simulation facilities, office space, collaborative spaces, an outdoor terrace, and roof-mounted solar panels that will encompass a total of 67,000 sq. ft.
Donning red hard hats and brandishing shovels, a variety of dignitaries representing the University leadership, faculty, and students, as well as elected representatives of New York State, and NYC government, turned over soil near the site of the 65-year-old St. Vincent Hall, which is undergoing demolition at the site where the center will be built.
The construction is funded by a mix of private and public funds including more than $20 million to date in philanthropic support. The Health Sciences Center is partially funded by a $1.25 million federal appropriation from the US Department of Health and Human Services’ Health Resources and Services Administration secured by Rep. Gregory W. Meeks in the US House of Representatives and Sen. Charles E. Schumer in the US Senate. In addition, St. John’s secured a $5 million New York State Higher Education Capital Matching Grant and a $700,000 Empire State Development grant from Round XI of the Regional Economic Development Council initiative.
The center’s design will promote interprofessional education among existing academic programs and will enable students to learn together and work as a team, similar to the real-world situation found in any clinical setting. In addition, the center’s simulation facilities will allow students to learn in a safe, realistic, clinical environment before they begin clinical rotation assignments at off-campus sites. Flexible room layouts will accommodate a multitude of teaching and learning styles.