Construction of MSU health sciences center on track

MSU health sciences building

WICHITA FALLS, Tx (RNN Texoma) - When it comes to learning, everything is getting more advanced with new technology and hands-on learning.

Students at Midwestern State University will soon be able to compete with other universities in the country with the addition of the Gunn College of Health Sciences Center.

The university first started talking about a new building in 2014.

Blueprints came out over a year ago, and even though there were roadblocks in the way, construction is on time.

Kyle Owen, with facility services at MSU, has been working the details of the project.

"I am so glad we are getting to this point," said Owen.  "Everyday, you want to see it go a little faster."

In 2015, the university got a grant from the state of Texas to build a new state-of-the-art facility for the growing number of health science majors coming to MSU.

Last November, Owen presented a problem to the board of regents.

The budget would need to be increased or they would have to cut back after the contract bids came back 25 percent higher than planned.

"We eventually got it where we needed to and added some other money to the pot to come up with the increased budget from 40 to 43 million," said Owen.

Minor changes to the inside of the building would also be made to fit the new budget, but the overall size and purpose stay the same.

The 82,000 square foot facility will hold most of the science classes with new the technology  students will see when on the job.

"We will use cutting-edge technology so that we will be able to compete with all the other schools around the state of Texas," said Johnston.

The health sciences building will give more space for the growing number of health science students at Midwestern State.

It will also let students currently taking upper-level courses off campus back into the classroom.

Dr. James Johnston, Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs, spent many years in the health science department and said the addition of the new facility is a step in the right direction.

"We needed this place, this building.  It's a health sciences focus, but it's really an academic building for a campus," said Johnston.

Owen expects that the new center should be open and ready for classes by July 2019.

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