University of Houston-Clear Lake Pearland Campus will break ground on a $24.6 million Health Sciences and Classroom Building in a ceremony set for 2 p.m. Friday, April 28, at the campus located at 1200 Pearland Parkway, Pearland.
Scheduled to open spring 2019, the new three-story facility will allow UHCL Pearland Campus to expand enrollment to its health-science programs, notably the RN-to-BSN and Licensed Professional Counselor programs. In addition, UHCL has plans to include space in the new building for a satellite office of its Center for Autism and Developmental Disabilities.
Construction of the 69,539 square-foot facility was made possible by a bill passed in the 2015 Texas Legislature, championed by state Sen. Larry Taylor, Rep. Ed Thompson of Pearland with support from Pearland Mayor Tom Reid and the Pearland Chamber of Commerce.
“We have become a medically oriented community,” Reid said during an interview earlier this spring, and added that the city’s health care partners look to UHCL Pearland Campus to help train current and future workers in a variety of medical careers. “We have an opportunity to provide for a future trained workforce and additional educational opportunities for personnel already in the workforce,” he said.
Nationwide, healthcare jobs are expected to grow 26 percent to 35 percent by 2020, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported, making it the fastest-growing employment segment.
“The healthcare industry has continued to evolve dramatically over the past few years,” said Karen Alexander, director of the RN-to-BSN Program at UHCL Pearland Campus, said during an earlier interview.
“Having a new Health Sciences and Classroom Building will enable us to meet and exceed the goals of creating a learning environment which fosters, demands, and celebrates high standards and quality of care for the delivery of safe and effective care to the communities we serve.”
The new facility will include simulated hospital rooms, a nurses’ station and a pharmacy station for hands-on training, a 100-seat tiered lecture hall, large classrooms, a conference room, chemistry and biology laboratories, 19 faculty offices and private study rooms and common study areas. Plans also include a vending area for purchase of ready-to-eat and ready-to-heat meals, salads, snacks and drinks as well as basic school supplies.
The Health Sciences and Classroom Building is one of three new academic buildings planned for UHCL. In March, the university broke ground on a STEM and Classroom Building and Recreation and Wellness Center on its Bay Area location. Later this year, it will begin construction on a student housing facility.