By Nathan Ham
Nearly 3,500 students in the Beaver College of Health Sciences will have a new building for a lot of their classwork.
The Leon Levine Hall of Health Sciences is scheduled to be ready for the first day of classes for App State students on Tuesday. Calls to confirm the building being open for the first day of classes were not returned, however no announcements have been posted by the university to suggest otherwise.
The 203,000-square-foot building is located adjacent to the Watauga Medical Center on a 9.2-acre piece of land that was donated to the university by the Appalachian Regional Healthcare System. The new building will be home to 14 of the 16 undergraduate and graduate degree programs within the Beaver College of Health Sciences.
New laboratories, assessment rooms and treatment rooms along with offices and classrooms will be available to students and faculty inside the new building.
Appalachian State received a $5 million grant from The Leon Levine Foundation of Charlotte, prompting the school to approve naming the building after Leon Levine, the founder of Family Dollar Stores Inc. and the creator of The Leon Levine Foundation.
“Appalachian is an admired university committed to empowering its students. My wife, Sandra, and I are proud to support Appalachian’s growing college of health sciences and, most importantly, the promising students committed to caring for the health needs of others,” Levine said in January.
The groundbreaking for the $70 million project began in June of 2016 and was part of the $2 billion Connect NC Public Improvement Bond that voters approved during the 2016 primary.
Being able to consolidate the Beaver College of Health Sciences into one building was another major aspect of this project. Until now, college of health sciences programs were spread across seven different buildings on campus.
“Moving five of our six departments into one building enables us to leverage the new collaborative learning spaces, enhanced research laboratories and a developing interprofessional clinic to empower students from different disciplines to learn and practice together,” said Dr. Marie Huff, Dean of the Beaver College of Health Sciences, in a press release. “Our intent is to foster a collaborative, patient-centered practice model resulting in better care services for future patients and their families.”
The college is named after Donald C. Beaver, an App State graduate that worked at Watauga Hospital and is currently the president and CEO of Universal Health Care.
Looking ahead to the future, the Leon Levine Hall of Health Sciences will play a big part in growing the health care work force, according to Appalachian State Chancellor Sheri Everts.
“Health education is a longstanding priority for Appalachian. This new facility will expand our opportunities for education and outreach, and over the course of their career as health professionals, our graduates will have immeasurable impact on the lives of others. Leon Levine’s investment in our students will elevate the future of health care in our state,” Everts said in a press release.
Classes at App State begin on Tuesday, August 21.