The Board of Trustees for the California State University system has given its approval for a nearly $5.5 million addition to the existing nursing building at CSULB. The single-story addition will house teaching and computer labs as well as administrative and department offices.
Including 10,800 square feet, construction is expected to begin in August 2009 after preliminary plans and working drawings are completed. The building should be ready for occupancy in June 2010.
“Currently, we have 870 nursing students, and we only have two classrooms, the largest of which holds 30 students. So, this addition will certainly be an improvement on what we have,” said Lucy Huckabay, director of the CSULB Nursing Program. “We are grateful that we will have three more classrooms and a computer lab as part of this project.”
Huckabay noted that adding to the existing nursing building became more urgent in January 2004 when the Nursing Program quadrupled its enrollments to deal with the nursing shortage.
Five years ago, CSULB had a registered nursing (R.N.) program that received 800 applicants for 36 student openings each semester. Today, the university’s bachelor’s of science in nursing (B.S.N.) program has 90 slots per semester, thanks in large part to support from Long Beach Memorial Hospital. Still, the program receives about 350 applicants for those 90 spots.
Huckabay said there are not enough nursing instructors, training facilities or willing hospitals to train the thousands of new nurses that an aging population needs.
The nursing building addition will be funded in part by a 2007 state appropriation of $2.3 million for preliminary plans, working drawings, construction and equipment. The rest of the funding will come from the CSULB Foundation.
Specifications for the building structure call for a steel brace frame with steel decking and metal studs. The exterior of the addition will be a combination of thin brick, aluminum storefront and glass windows and stucco plaster, matching the existing nursing building. Sustainable features will include natural daylighting, materials with high recycled content, waterless urinals, low flow plumbing fixtures and higher rated insulation.
The architect for the project is HMC Architects based in Ontario. University officials anticipate having bids for the project by April 2009 to choose the contractor.