Press Release for Thursday, July 26, 2007

UNF's Brooks College of Health Undergoes Expansion

Contact: Joanna Norris, Assistant Director
Department of Media Relations and Events
(904) 620-2102

The Brooks College of Health is undergoing an expansion. The University of North Florida broke ground today for a new four-story addition. The ceremony took place outside the first-floor atrium of the Brooks College of Health on the UNF campus.

“The addition to the Brooks College of Health illustrates the University’s commitment to the College,” said Dr. Pam Chally, dean of the Brooks College of Health. “We look forward to the space, which will allow us to expand all our high-quality programs, providing well trained health care professionals to the surrounding community and beyond.”

The $10.15 million addition is expected to be approximately 33,000 gross square feet on four floors and will house classrooms and administrative office space for UNF’s School of Nursing. The facility is expected to be ready for use by the fall of 2008.

The first floor will house classrooms and a lecture hall, while the second floor will be occupied by Student Medical Services, which will be relocated from the Andrew A. Robinson Jr. Student Life Center. The student medical clinic will have 10 exam rooms, doctor offices and an X-ray/radiation laboratory. The third floor of the new addition will feature state-of-the-art skills and simulation labs, while the top floor will be devoted to faculty offices and conference rooms.

The undergraduate School of Nursing program with an emphasis on community health was chosen as UNF’s first flagship program, which is a challenge to raise the bar and become one of the best programs in the nation. This recognition of excellence will allow the School of Nursing to expand its innovative baccalaureate program.

“The School of Nursing is very excited about the upcoming addition. The new space will provide high-tech learning areas for undergraduate, masters and doctoral students,” said Li Loriz, director of UNF’s School of Nursing.

When the School of Nursing moves from its current facility into the new addition, the Department of Athletic Training and Physical Therapy will increase its space by eight offices, three classrooms—one a clinical lab and another a research facility—and two conference rooms.

“The additional space will provide us the necessary resources to provide for quality education for our undergraduate students in Athletic Training and Exercise Physiology and for our doctoral students in Physical Therapy,” said Dr. Rusty Smith, chair of UNF’s Athletic Training and Physical Therapy Department.

The new expansion will also help the growing and very large Department of Public Health. Dr. Judy Perkin, chair of the Department of Public Health, noted that the increased space will allow for more faculty office and teaching space on both the third and fourth floors.

“The added space for the Department of Public Health will support teaching and research in community health/public health, nutrition, health administration/geriatric management and rehabilitation counseling,” she said.

The Architectural Firm for the Brooks College of Health addition is Ponikvar & Associates, located in Gainesville, while the constructors for the project are PPI Construction Management, also in Gainesville.

UNF’s College of Health was founded in 1988. In 2006, the College became the Brooks College of Health as the result of a gift from Brooks Health System. In 2007, the College initiated two new doctoral programs, the Doctor of Nursing Practice and the Doctor of Physical Therapy.

The Brooks College of Health offers a full complement of degree programs and specialized certifications in community and public health, rehabilitation counseling, nutrition, health administration, nursing and nurse anesthesia, exercise physiology, athletic training and physical therapy.