ASHEBORO (August 23, 2018)
Randolph Community College held a groundbreaking ceremony for its much-anticipated Allied Health Center on Thursday, with over 100 state and local government officials, business and industry partners, and RCC faculty, staff and students gathered at the site on Industrial Park Avenue. The $14.4 million facility will house the College’s Associate Degree Nursing, Radiography, Medical Assisting, and Emergency Medical Services programs.
TOP: Taking part in the groundbreaking ceremony for Randolph Community College’s Allied Health Center were (from left) RCC Board Chair Mac Sherrill, Vice President for Instructional Services Suzanne Rohrbaugh, Vice President for Administrative Service Daffie Garris, Clancy & Theys Construction Vice President Robert Hall, RCC President Robert Shackleford, Randolph County Commission Chair David Allen, and Little Architects’ Adam Caruthers.
BOTTOM: An artist’s rendition of the new Allied Health Center at Randolph Community College. Construction will begin Monday on the facility with the first classes expected to be held in the facility in January 2020.
The 45,000-square-foot, two-story, L-shaped building will increase the space available for the health care programs by 86%. Funds for the new building will come from Randolph County’s ¼-cent sales tax designated for RCC capital construction ($9.4 million) and state community college bond funds ($5 million).
RCC President Robert S. Shackleford gave a short explanation of how community colleges are funded. He said that 85% of RCC’s budget comes from the state and is designated for operations (salaries, equipment, supplies). The county commissioners and the taxpayers of the community are responsible for the facilities, he said. “Every building you see, the repairs, utilities, housekeeping, groundskeeping … is funded by the local community. Without the county commissioners support, we would be a boat without a paddle.”
Randolph County Commission Chairman David Allen said the facility “can be an economic development driver for Randolph County” noting that in addition to the graduates who will secure good jobs, the facility will help attract new industries to the county who are looking for quality of life and good health care.
Daffie Garris, vice president for administrative services, said planning for the facility actually began in early 2014 when “Dr. Shackleford cast a vision. He described this state-of-the-art facility encompassing all of our health care programs. In April of that year, we started the advance planning.” Garris introduced representatives of Little Diversified Architectural Consulting and general contractor Clancy & Theys Construction Company and said the College had just signed the contract to proceed and construction would start on Monday. Garris also noted that the architect has designed the building to be RCC’s second gold LEED-certified building.
Suzanne Rohrbaugh, vice president for instructional services, said the facility would be a life-changing experience for students, faculty, staff and the health care community. She noted the many benefits of the simulated health care community that will be included in the building. “EMS workers will be able to pick up a patient in a true apartment setting and transport that patient to the simulated hospital. (The students) can make mistakes in a very safe environment and (instructors) can stop a student in middle of a scenario to enhance learning.”
The simulated health care community will also include radiography labs, exam rooms, a surgical room, an ICU room, a maternity room, waiting areas, and patient conference rooms. The building will also have video-capture capabilities so instructors can observe students and play back that video to debrief students after a simulation.
In his closing remarks, Dr. Shackleford told the crowd, “Projects like this don’t just happen. It happens when everybody works together. This is an investment in the economic and workforce development of Randolph County.”
Participating in the groundbreaking ceremony were Dr. Shackleford, RCC Board Chairman Mac Sherrill, Randolph County Commission Chairman David Allen, Adam Caruthers from Little Architects, Robert Hall of Clancy & Theys Construction Company, and RCC vice presidents Daffie Garris and Suzanne Rohrbaugh.