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VILLANOVA, PA-Construction has just begun for a new College of Nursing at Villanova University. The 75,500-sf, five-story building is located at the site of a former softball field at the center of the campus near the main gate.

It will contain a 200-seat auditorium, a 200-seat lecture hall, six labs for as many different state-of-the-art, technology-driven clinical simulations in which patient-actors follow scripted scenarios to mimic real patient situations. There will also be a simulated nurse’s station, observation and testing labs, classrooms, offices, a dean’s suite and spaces for research, prayer and reflection. A courtyard will front the building, which is being constructed to meet LEED certification.

The estimated construction cost is $32 million, a spokeswoman for the College of Nursing tells GlobeSt.com. While the university is footing the bill, fund raising is under way for building enhancements, she says, which include installation of the college seal in the lobby, artwork and furnishings for certain spaces, including a room for the 54-year-old school’s historical collection. Naming rights are available for the building and some of its public spaces.

The College of Nursing will relocate from St. Mary’s Hall on the campus perimeter into the new building, which is expected to reach completion by the start of the academic year in fall 2008. In a statement, Peter Donohue, president of the university, says the new facility will “bring people together into an academically intellectual center.”

M. Louise Fitzpatrick, dean of the College of Nursing, adds, “We are building on success.” Noting that the institution is a recognized National League for Nursing Center of Excellence in Nursing Education, she says, “This facility will do much to advance its future.”

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