By Laura Phelps
A new three-story, 104,000-square-foot Healthcare Sciences Academic Center is quickly taking shape at the north end of the Jacksonville University campus, marking significant progress on a project that will make Dolphin history.
JU selected award-winning design and construction firm Stellar to build the new facility. Construction is expected to cost $20 million and is on track for completion in January of 2020, allowing classes and clinical work to begin in the Spring semester. The building will house the School of Applied Health Sciences, the School of Orthodontics and the Keigwin School of Nursing graduate programs.
“The robust demand for healthcare professionals in our region continues to grow at a rapid rate,” said Dr. Christine Sapienza, Provost. “Here at JU, we are working to meet that need with talented, job-ready graduates from our Brooks Rehabilitation College of Healthcare Sciences. This new facility will position our expanding healthcare programs for even more growth and experiential learning, offering students a modern learning environment, along with the latest technology and instrumentation to enhance the quality of their education.”
The University worked closely with the Stellar team to design contemporary, state-of-the-art, energy-efficient classrooms, clinical spaces, and laboratories for Kinesiology, Mental Health Counseling, and Speech Language Pathology. Notably, two Kinesiology labs will focus on biomechanics, athletic performance, exercise and physiology. A third lab focusing on wellness and nutrition is in development.
“This new facility will position our expanding healthcare programs for even more growth and experiential learning, offering students a modern learning environment, along with the latest technology and instrumentation to enhance the quality of their education.”Dr. Christine Sapienza, Provost
Plans are also in development for a student health center within the Healthcare Sciences Academic Center, offering on-campus primary care services to JU students, faculty and staff. The University’s goal is to offer basic check-ups or immunizations, as well as on-site mental health and wellness services through the center.
“We look forward to developing a primary care clinic on campus – it’s a top priority for Jacksonville University,” said Dr. Cheryl Bergman, Dean of the Brooks Rehabilitation College of Healthcare Sciences. “An on-campus clinic will be so convenient for students with basic healthcare needs and for those needing clinical hours to complete their degrees.”
Located at 5491 Dolphin Point Blvd. on the north end of the campus, the new building will also include:
- New training and clinical spaces, new instrumentation, and a modern waiting room for the Orthodontics residency and fellowship program, which serves the general public
- Computer labs and collaborative work spaces for both students and faculty
- Administrative offices
- Space for external industry partners to offer specialized clinical services
Stellar has teamed up with long-time partner PQH Architects for the construction management at-risk project. This is the largest project Stellar has performed for JU. Over the years, the firm has completed several construction and renovation projects on the University’s campus.
“Stellar is very proud of our long-standing relationship with Jacksonville University, and we’re honored to partner with them on such a monumental endeavor,” said Tim Jenkins, project manager at Stellar. “Together with our project partner, PQH Architects, we’re delivering innovative solutions to build a smart, green, state-of-the-art education facility.”
As the new hub for healthcare sciences, it’s fitting that the building is just steps away from Dolphin Pointe Landing, a premier healthcare and rehabilitation center that will partner with JU to offer hands-on training opportunities for students in a wide range of healthcare programs, including nursing, occupational therapy, speech language pathology and kinesiology. The first phase of Dolphin Pointe is expected to open later in 2019.