Three decades of Collin College leadership were present at the ceremonial ribbon cutting for the Cary A. Israel Health Sciences Center, a new building on Collin College’s Central Park Campus in McKinney. The new facility provides state-of-the-art learning spaces for the college’s quickly growing health sciences programs.
“This health sciences center is just one more step in cementing Collin County’s reputation as a leader in health care education in North Texas, a process that began three decades ago on the same plot of land where this center now stands,” Collin College Board Chair Dr. J. Robert Collins said, noting that the health sciences center’s ribbon cutting was held on the 30th anniversary of the Central Park Campus opening. Dr. Collins is also a founding trustee.
Trustees and VIPs cut the ribbon before an excited audience of community supporters, students, faculty and staff. The historic celebration also involved all three of the college’s presidents—Dr. John Anthony, Dr. Cary A. Israel and current district president Dr. Neil Matkin, who began last year.
With major shortages of health care workers, the new facility opens at an important time. Texas is projected to have a shortage of 71,000 nurses within five years, and the U.S. nursing shortage is projected to grow to 260,000 registered nurses by 2025.
“The future of Texas health care starts in buildings just like this one, built around award-winning programs and our established Center of Excellence in Nursing Education. Collin College can deliver quality at a price point that benefits the state, taxpayers and students helping to fill Texas’ critical needs,” Collin College District President Dr. Neil Matkin said, referencing recent efforts to expand degrees such as the Bachelor of Science of Nursing (B.S.N.) to Collin College.
The ribbon cutting was the public unveiling of the new building. Students began classes in the new building on Tuesday.
The Cary A. Israel Health Sciences Center was named by trustees in honor of the college’s second district president, who served from 1999 to 2014. “I am honored and humbled by this generous recognition,” Dr. Israel said. “Let the letter ‘A’ on this building remind us of ‘all’ who contribute tirelessly each and every day to ensure a quality institution of higher education – the Board of Trustees, faculty, students, staff and the community. I applaud and thank you.”
The three-story, 125,000-square-foot facility features classrooms and unique labs for students in all of college’s health science areas of study. Highlights include a simulation lab with hi-fidelity human patient simulators, an emergency room lab, mock ambulance, emergency medical services labs, sleep study labs, nursing skills labs, a respiratory care lab, an operating room lab with post-op area, surgical technology labs with a scrub room and a central sterile supply lab with decontamination and sterile prep areas. The building also includes the Abernathy Family Lecture Hall, which has seating capacity of 144.
According to Dr. John Anthony, the college’s founding president, “Over the years, the college has made a point to hire only the best and most able faculty, support personnel and students, and faculty have been provided with the highest quality teaching and learning environments. The new building is yet another excellent example of the college’s commitment to providing quality facilities for its students, its faculty and its community.”
With the completion of new facilities, renovation of vacated space in the main building will begin, increasing opportunities for students in the sciences, fine arts, fitness and wellness. The college also plans to create a student center with dedicated spaces for collaborative student interaction.
The college district serves nearly 52,000 credit and continuing education students annually and offers more than 100 degrees and certificates in a wide range of disciplines. The only public college in the county, Collin College is a partner to business, government and industry, providing customized training and workforce development. In addition, the college operates the Collin Higher Education Center, which serves 3,300 additional students each year in partnership with The University of Texas at Dallas, Texas Woman’s University, Texas A&M Commerce, Texas Tech and the University of North Texas.
To see more pictures from this event, visit the Good Life Family Good Times Event Photo Gallery.