College of The Albemarle has received approval from the Pasquotank County Board of Commissioners for $11 million to assist with the building of a health sciences expansion and simulation center.
The approval follows the state’s recent allocation of $12.5 million in the adjusted state budget toward funding the center.
COA will also utilize an additional $1.5 million through the ConnectNC Bond funds allocated to the college in 2016. The combined funding will support the total cost of the project which is approximately $25 million.
The COA Board of Trustees established an ad hoc committee in October 2021 to determine what would best meet the needs of the ever-growing health sciences program at the college.
Currently, COA’s nursing programs are taught in facilities originally designed to serve a much smaller number of students with simulation centers that do not meet the needs of the program.
COA has been recognized as having the number one registered nursing program among colleges and universities in North Carolina by registerednursing.org.
It is imperative that COA nursing students have simulation centers that meet the current training requirements, accommodate the growing number of students served and meet the healthcare employment needs within our communities. The ad hoc committee, under the leadership of Paul O’Neal, advocated for the facility expansion in which we are embarking on at this time.
Former state Sen. Bob Steinburg (R-Chowan) acknowledged the impact COA’s health sciences program has on the healthcare industry and he, along with state Rep. Bobby Hanig (R-Currituck), championed for the college to receive the state funding needed to ensure our students are learning and practicing in state-of-the-art facilities.
With the state funding half of the approximate $25M needed for the project, the Pasquotank County Board of Commissioners also recognized the tremendous need for the center and approved funding the remaining $11M to get the project underway.
“College of The Albemarle is appreciative of the support received from Senator Steinburg, Representative Hanig, and the entire North Carolina General Assembly in this effort,” said Dr. Jack Bagwell, COA President.
“Our Pasquotank Board of Commissioners have also demonstrated their unequivocal support of this facility expansion and recognize how critical the project is to ensure quality healthcare continues in this region,” Bagwell said. “We are extremely proud of the legislative and local government support in this endeavor and are committed to providing highly qualified healthcare professionals for our region and state.”