The University of Tampa’s newest building is its largest and houses cutting-edge technology for its acclaimed nursing program and a new physician assistant medicine program.
It is set to open Friday morning with a ceremony and numerous demonstrations of the remarkable training simulation equipment, including an array of manikins and technology that will go a long way training health care practitioners long before they touch real patients (take an in-depth tour in the slideshow).
UT President Ronald Vaughn says the building reflects a long-range vision to address severe shortages of nurse practitioners and physicians assistants. It also continues the university’s role as an economic engine for the city and region, he told the Tampa Bay Business Journal in an exclusive first look tour.
“It's huge. We're intellectual talent importers to the area and the students that we import here tend to stay here if they tend to love it the way that we do,” he said. “There is about a billion-dollar-plus economic impact annually from all the stuff that we do. For example, yesterday we had executives from Amgenhere and we're trying to help meet some of their talent needs."
That interaction with business community partners happens all the time, he said. “People are looking for where the talent is.”
Beck was the lead contractor on the 91,000-square-foot building in the heart if the UT campus; Eric Kreher was the architect.
Two floors of the building were specifically designed for UT’s new program in physician assistant medicine. This facility includes a clinical skills lab, patient simulation labs, assessment rooms, digital anatomy lab, classrooms, study spaces, offices, a conference room and a moulage room, which is a specialized room for applying mock injuries for student training.
The nursing space includes a reception area, a large patient care center, ICU simulation rooms, health assessment clinical spaces, a student lounge and study spaces, faculty and staff offices, a large conference room and classrooms.
As part of the materials distributed for the opening of the building, UT reports it has succeeded in a sizable capital campaign, raising $160 million. The money from trustees, alumni, parents, faculty and staff and other friends of UT “enables the university to elevate and maintain its programs and facilities at the highest level,” Vaughn wrote in a letter published in the latest UT Journal.