The doors have opened at the latest facility upgrade for Central Michigan University, a $26 million addition to the Health Professions Building.
Ground broke on the two-story, 50,000 sq. ft. expansion in spring 2018. It officially opened earlier this year at the start of spring semester.
The growth in the building’s footprint corresponds to the growth of the industry and its workforce needs. According to the university, physician assistants and physical therapists are among the highest job growth rates in both the state and nation.
The expansion provides new classrooms and labs for both.
"Our students and those to come will not only have access to the latest and greatest technology in the world, but the space in which to use it," says Tom Masterson, dean of The Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow College of Health Professions.
"The education these students will get because of this addition makes us the go-to college of health professions in the state."
The expansion provides the physician assistant program with two labs that are quadruple the size of the previous facility’s lab. That lab will then be renovated into an exercise physiology lab.
The physical therapy program also sees an expansion of its lab space, going from two labs to four. A neurological lab is larger and accommodates an overhead harness walking system. Community outreach therapy program MOVE! for Health will have its own dedicated space, as well.
Officials believe that the expansion will not only better equip CMU students to fill the increasing demands of the health professions talent pipeline, but also attract the next generation of students to CMU.
"Any eighth grader who walks through our complex now and has any idea of becoming a PA or a PT, they are going to want to come here," Masterson says.
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