Towson University will break ground this summer on a new 240,000-square-foot facility housing the College of Health Professions, following funding appropriated by the Maryland General Assembly.
Plans call for a six-story building, estimated to cost $175 million, to open in the summer of 2024. The facility will feature a 300-seat auditorium, multiple cutting-edge simulation skill labs and a small cafe. Also, it will include various amenities such as patient examination rooms, two lecture halls, a makers’ space shop, and multiple research labs.
The facility will support the rapidly growing College of Health Professions, merging programs in nursing, occupational therapy, speech-language therapy and audiology. The health program has witnessed a 184% increase in undergraduate enrollment since 1998, according to the university.
“When I first came to Towson University seven years ago, the College of Health Professions was spread across campus, in many different buildings, all retrofitted from their original purposes,” Lisa Plowfield, dean of the College of Health Professions, said in a news release. “I’m grateful now that we will have a building constructed for and dedicated to the health professions.”
A groundbreaking is being planned for this summer.
“The support for this capital project and our College of Health Professions’ programming will directly benefit the people of our state,” Towson University President Kim Schatzel said in a news release. “Now, our faculty and staff, with this first-ever dedicated building, will have world-class resources to support their teaching and research.”
Maryland lawmakers approved $50 million to begin construction in fiscal year 2022, which starts in July. Funding for fiscal years 2023 and 2024 was pre-approved. Additional funding for clinical and instructional programs includes $4.1 million from the University System of Maryland’s operating budget.
“Now they have the construction dollars to build a structure that meets the needs of the students in their program, and that’s exciting,” said State Del. Catherine Forbes, a Democrate who represents District 42A in the Towson area. “There is a huge demand for people who work in health care.”
The project will help address a 23,000-person shortfall in Maryland’s health professions workforce, according to the news release.
“This new building will anchor the northeast side of campus, and it cannot come soon enough, with the statewide shortage of health professionals only exacerbated by the pandemic,” Schatzel said.