Since 2012, BW leased a part of a building located at 201 Front Street. Baldwin Wallace’s Physician’s Assistant program operates within the building.
As of Nov. 7, BW officially purchased the 25,000 square foot building and will renovate 201 Front Street into the new home for BW’s Physician Assistant and Nursing programs, respectively. The Physician Assistant program began with 19 students and has now increased to 63. The Nursing program began with 20 students and now has 80.
Provost Stephen Stahl said currently the Physician Assistant program holds classes in the CIG and the Nursing program holds classes in the current Math and Computer Science building, located in the old Loomis Elementary School.
“We have been leasing part of [201 Front Street] for six or seven years for the Physician Assistant Program. With the purchase of it, we will spend some time [during] the spring semester renovating the facility,” said Stahl. “Over the summer, we will move over the nursing department, and all of the Physician’s Assistant programs will be taught in that building.”
As the construction on the new MCS&E building launched earlier this semester, Vice President of Finance and Administration, Bill Reniff, said all departments in the current Math and Computer Science building would move to the new MCS&E; however, nursing would not have anywhere to operate.
“With the new MCS&E building, everything in Loomis will move excepts for nursing,” said Reniff. “We had to find them a home. Now, they’ll all be in one space. The students can come to one central location of BW.”
Each program will occupy one of the two floors of the building, said Reniff.
He said the Physician Assistant program would be assigned the first floor with “close to 9,000 square feet.”
Reniff said the entire Nursing program would operate on the second floor. He also added the nursing faculty would have offices, classrooms, and material that provides students with the best ability to learn.
“The whole second floor, which is about 12,000 square feet, will be renovated to be the new nursing program. We’ll have nursing labs with interactive manikins,” said Reniff.
With the addition to the nursing program gaining more space, Stahl said Baldwin Wallace is in talks of creating a new nursing program.
“Currently, we only have a 2nd Baccalaureate,” said Stahl. “We plan to start looking at going through the approval process for a more traditional 1st Baccalaureate Nursing program.”
Stahl said the firm designing the MCS&E facility will give a “program statement” that includes information such as how many offices will be in the building, labs, locations of the facilities, etc.
After the firm comes in, Reniff said BW’s Buildings and Grounds will design the facility.
“Our Buildings and Grounds staff will go in there working with academics, the faculty for PA, and more of the faculty from Nursing, and they’re going to design what they want the building to look like,” said Reniff.
Initially, Reniff said there were talks about reconstructing the Union into a building for the nursing program; however, after weighing options, purchasing the building on 201 Front Street proved to be the best option.
“We were going to build a brand-new student Union right next to the Rec Center. We looked at the logistics of that, and some of the issues we had with zoning with the MCS&E building, we think we’d have some zoning concerns with neighbors,” said Reniff. “This was a great, inexpensive solution that didn’t make it necessary to renovate the existing Strosacker for health sciences. Now we can look into Strosacker, and we can renovate it for student activity. The board made the right decision to rethink and made it much better financial stewardship to go this route.”
Moving forward, Reniff said the master plan regarding the Loomis building would tear down the facility and create a duplicate of the North Quad in the area.
“The Loomis facility is an old facility. It has a lot of typical old building issues like heating, roofing. Our eventual plan was to move everything out of that building and eventually re-demo that building,” said Reniff. “It would become a beautiful green-space quad that would run from Strosacker up to the Rec Center.”
Reniff said before the purchase, a physical therapy department, Synergy Physical Therapy, held its office at the building. BW will allow Synergy Physical Therapy occupancy as a tenant, he said.
Currently, Reniff said 201 Front Street is under inspection. He also said the building has yet to receive a name.