Mount Union to Begin Site Work for New Building

March 07, 2013

ALLIANCE, Ohio – Next week, the University of Mount Union will move forward with construction plans for its new Health and Medical Sciences Building, which will come in the form of a wing on the south end of Bracy Hall along Union Avenue.  The project emerged as a priority during the University’s campus master planning process, which was carried out in partnership with Cleveland-based architectural and engineering firm Westlake Reed Leskosky.

“During the development of our Campus Master Plan, the growing need for space resulting from increased student demand for science and health-related programs became evident,” said Dr. Richard F. Giese, president of the University.  “This new facility is also critical to our ability to carry out a number of objectives within our strategic plan and will provide the additional classroom and laboratory space that is paramount to the success of the many students on our campus pursuing science and health-related fields.”

The new facility will house Mount Union’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing Program, slated to begin this coming fall, as well as possible future health-related programs.  In addition, it will become the new home to the University’s master’s program in physician assistant studies, currently located in Bracy Hall, which enrolls more than 60 students and is set to welcome its fifth cohort this May.

Since the opening of Bracy Hall in 2003, enrollment in biology and chemistry courses has nearly doubled, and the success of the Physician Assistant Studies Program has further exacerbated the space issues within the facility.  The Health and Medical Sciences Building will help to alleviate these space concerns, and its location will provide for a number of additional benefits.

“The site for this project was chosen with great care,” said Giese.  “Not only does it make a great deal of sense because of its proximity to Bracy Hall, but it also allows for a number of synergies with Alliance Community Hospital while also continuing our efforts to improve the aesthetic appeal of the Union Avenue corridor.”

The University will take the first steps to prepare the construction site for the new facility on March 11, when work to bring down Mount Union Theatre will begin.  This will be followed by excavation for the foundation in the weeks that follow and building construction this summer.

As site work begins, the University is in the final stages of fundraising for the Health and Medical Sciences Building and the addition to the Performing Arts Complex, estimated at a combined cost of $25 million.  Pending the completion of construction drawings, fundraising plans and Board of Trustees approval, construction will begin on the Performing Arts Complex in May after classes conclude.  The goal is to have both facilities open in the fall of 2014.

 “We’ve invested more than $100 million in our campus facilities and grounds in the past decade, and this is simply the next phase in providing an enhanced environment, not only for our students, but also for the betterment of the Alliance community as a whole,” said Giese. “These two facilities are critical to the success of Mount Union, and also meet needs in our society.  With the demand for skilled and caring healthcare professionals on the rise and increased focus on the importance of the fine arts to the intellectual development of students, I can think of few projects more worthwhile for the University at this time.”

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