Groundbreaking for New Health Center, Other Projects on Track
On April 21, ground was broken on a new nursing and health studies facility to house the recently named Marion Peckham Egan School of Nursing and Health Studies. The new building will house health sciences and nursing students, as well as the new Kanarek Center for Palliative and Supportive Nursing Education.
The groundbreaking comes as extensive renovations to the Leslie C. Quick, Jr. Recreation Complex near completion, scheduled for August of this year.
Both facilities are features of the University’s master plan — a slate of building projects and enhancement that are meant to work in tandem with the implementation of the University’s strategic plan, creating better living and learning spaces for students, as well as an enhanced learning environment.
New projects that are projected for the next two years include a parking facility, a new dormitory in the Quad area and an expansion of the Barone Campus center. These projects remain in the design phase.
At the groundbreaking, over 100 students, faculty, staff, alumni, parents and friends cheered as shovels — adorned with stethoscopes — dug into the earth at the conclusion of the ceremony.
Benefactors William P. Egan ’67 and his wife Jackie Egan were present at the groundbreaking, joined by University President, Jeffrey P. von Arx, S.J., Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs, Lynn Babington, PhD, Dean of the Egan School, Meredith Wallace Kazer, PhD, and University Trustee Stephen M. Lessing '76.
“When people hear Fairfield, they know it’s a top tier school for nursing, so everyone’s always floored. But the expansion will make it even better,” said Cara Gibbons ’18, a nursing major who wore Fairfield garb along with fellow students to celebrate the groundbreaking.
The project, when completed, will be 70,650 square feet, over four times the size of the original complex. It will have four stories and each will be equipped with open collaborative areas for students and faculty to meet in small groups; state-of-the-art simulation equipment, and other features.
One of the guests at the ceremony was Connecticut State Senator, Tony Hwang (R-28th District): “The fact that we have an institution of this caliber, producing these kinds of educational opportunities is something that we should never ever take for granted,” he said.
He congratulated the University on achieving their goals, “to have this building being built by school funds and private contributions of very generous alumni – the reality is that the state could learn how to function in a fiscally responsible manner like the University has.”
Slated for completion this fall, the improved RecPlex will, among many elements, include strength training suites with all the latest equipment; a spacious and light entryway; an elevated indoor track; and new group fitness areas for Yoga, Pilates, Bar Method, and more. Follow the project’s progress here.