SAVANNAH — Gov. Nathan Deal Monday signed the state’s fiscal year 2018 budget, which includes $22 million in funding to build a health professions building on the Armstrong State University campus.
Officials expect to break ground on it in August and to welcome students in January 2019, when the school will be part of Georgia Southern University.
A news release from the school said the building will be strategically designed to offer a team-oriented approach to healthcare education and to simulate the environment of a hospital or medical facility. The complex will combine a interprofessional center outfitted with a state-of-the-art simulation suite, and a renovated Ashmore Hall.
“This major investment in health professions programs and infrastructure at the Armstrong Campus demonstrates a larger commitment to educating future generations of healthcare professionals right here in Savannah, meeting regional workforce needs,” ASU President Linda M. Bleicken said. “The new College of Health Professions facility will serve as the model for healthcare leadership training in the Southeast.”
Design and planning for the new structure was approved by the Board of Regents and the state legislature, as recommended by Deal in 2015.
“Since 2008, Armstrong has graduated more undergraduate health professionals than any university in Georgia,” Bleicken said.
Armstrong’s College of Health Professions offers a range of academic programs in nursing, public health, health administration and the allied health professions.
Deal had signing ceremonies across the state Monday and one was scheduled for Savannah. It was canceled, however, because of the threat of storms.