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SMC Board of Trustees opens nursing bids

The Southwestern Michigan College Board of Trustees June 19 opened construction bids for the new Nursing and Health Education Building opening fall 2018. The 12,047-square-foot 1970 facility south of the David C. Briegel Building on the Dowagiac campus will be rebuilt to 29,086 square feet with a glass atrium across the front facing residential halls.

This east-west open area encourages student/faculty interaction outside classroom instruction.

The project doubles the size of SMC’s ACEN-accredited nursing program while adding another health-related occupation, such as occupational therapy assistant or physical therapy assistant.

Four simulation labs replicate hospital rooms with computerized mannequins augmenting clinical instruction.

Two eight-bed skills labs provide students a place to practice inserting IVs, check blood pressure and perform total-body assessments.

Trustees selected Wednesday, Sept. 6, for the Nursing and Health Education Building Construction Celebration.

Featured speaker Michigan Budget Director Al Pscholka was instrumental as a state legislator in securing $4 million from the state for the project.

The celebration is open to the public, with more details to follow.

Following a public hearing, the board adopted a balanced $23,388,000 2017-18 operating budget which increases 1.5 percent over the current year.

Housing increases 3 percent, to $2,447,035 for the fiscal year beginning July 1.

“Southwestern Michigan College remains strong,” Board of Trustees Chairman Thomas F. Jerdon said. “This 1.5-percent increase shows we are committed to affordable access to quality higher education. SMC has adopted a structurally balanced budget every single year since the college’s 1964 founding. I am proud of the Board of Trustees and the college administration for unwavering commitment to sound fiscal management.”