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NEWS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

Highland Breaks Ground for New Nursing Wing
7/15/2008

Highland Community Colleges newest addition, a 13,694 square foot health science nursing wing added to the Natural Science and Health building, will be available for students beginning in the fall 2009 semester. The wing, first proposed in 2004, will provide more than 100 nursing students with four labs and three dedicated classrooms. Currently these students utilize shared lecture hall space and one small lab to practice skills before they enter clinicals and throughout their training.

During a groundbreaking ceremony held July 15, officials announced that the new wing will be named the Ray and Betty Stamm Health Science Nursing Wing after donor Ray Stamm of Lena and his late wife whom he intends to honor with the contribution.

Space has been crunched for some time, and resourceful instructors have pulled hospital-style beds into the hallway to provide more teaching space. This is our largest program and even though we are short on space, our students excel, said HCC President Joe Kanosky. Were proud to report that our graduates pass the nursing licensure exam at a higher rate than the state average. Our graduates are working as nurses throughout the region. The new wing is going to build on our current success and greatly enhance our teaching and training capabilities.

The project has already gained a positive response from the health care community. FHN, already partnering with the College to provide the evening ADN program, will contribute significant funding to help equip the new labs with sophisticated technology. The new technology, especially the patient simulator, is substantially different from the Annie mannequins that many people remember from CPR or other types of health care training. The SimFamily, including SimMan, Noelle, and SimBaby, are computer operated mannequins that can present health care problems found in real emergency and clinical settings: their hearts race, their eyes dilate and Noelle, a woman, even gives birth.

FHNs financial support will advance the health care training for the entire community, said Dr. Shannon Lizer, Highlands director of nursing. Not only our students and FHN employees, but emergency medical professionals and other health care workers, will have the opportunity to train or advance their skills in these sophisticated teaching labs. I expect this new technology will accelerate the learning curve for our students and local providers.

Highland, with the support of the Highland Community College Foundation, is seeking private funds to complete the construction. Public funds are not available, and the state cannot project when state funding will again be possible for capital projects of this nature. The Colleges longtime partner, the HCC Foundation, is spearheading a fundraising campaign titled Growing for TomorrowChanging Lives Today to aid the College in raising funds. There is an urgent need to address this space shortage for such a critical program, said HCC Foundation President and co-chair of the fundraising campaign Jim Berberet. Healthcare is important for everyone in our community and nurses are the backbone of the system. We expect the community will embrace this need for the College.

Highland Trustees made the decision to include a green roof over the addition. The advantages of the green roof include reduced storm water run-off and improved insulation keeping the roof cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. Additionally the green roof converts carbon dioxide to oxygen. The roof will consist of 2ft. X 2 ft. square trays of interlocking 100% post-consumer recycled plastic. The modular system allows for the removal and replacement of the 40 pound trays, which is expected to improve the long term costs and performance of the roof. A ground cover plant, Sedum, will be planted in the modules. Sedum plants are extremely drought resistant and do not require significant maintenance.

Local participation and partners have made the project possible according to college officials. Winter Construction of Freeport is the general contractor and R.L. Johnson and Associates is the architect for this project. Additionally, interim financing was made possible in part by local banks including Amcore, Citizens State Bank, First State Bank Shannon/Polo and Foresight Financial Group (including German American Bank, Lena State Bank, Northwest Bank of Rockford, State Bank and State Bank of Davis).

Senator Tim Bivins and Sharon Summers, chief operating officer for FHN, also spoke during the groundbreaking ceremony. A project time line, drawing of the addition, and video of the ceremony are posted on the Colleges web site.

Highland Community College offers more than 60 programs of applied and transfer degrees, community education and business training. In addition to comprehensive academic programming, Highland provides theatre, art and music opportunities for the community. Highland Community College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and is a member of the North Central Associations Academic Quality Improvement Program. Located in Freeport and Elizabeth, Highland is conveniently positioned in the tri-state region with access to several major metropolitan areas.

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OFFICE OF COMMUNITY RELATIONS
2998 W. Pearl City Road
Freeport, IL 61032-9341

815-235-6121
Fax 815-235-6130



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