TVCC Board renews support for Nursing & Allied Health Professions Center
Oct. 18, 2023
Contact: Abby Lee, firstname.lastname@example.org
Associate Vice President
College & Public Relations
ONTARIO - At its regular meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 17th, the Treasure Valley Community College Board of Education voted to move forward with the next steps to secure funding to construct TVCC’s new Nursing & Allied Health Professions Center. The planned facility will replace the current 1960s-era building which has limited the College’s ability to grow enrollment in health care programs.
The Board of Education approved a resolution to recognize increased construction costs for the building from $11 million to $12.8 million; the resolution also allows the College to use up to $2.3 million from internal special project reserves to begin construction.
TVCC’s Board had previously approved $11 million in construction costs, but with increasing inflation, costs have risen almost 20 percent since TVCC made the original request to the State of Oregon in 2015 for the much-needed 30,000 square foot building. Architects, construction managers, and college officials have already worked to revise design plans to cut almost $1 million in project costs, but the building cost is still estimated at $12.8 million.
TVCC received $4.95 million from the State of Oregon to help fund the building and the College must raise at least that much in matching funds. The College also received $3 million towards that match requirement as part of a request sponsored by Oregon Senators Merkley and Wyden in the federal budget's Congressional Direct Spending.
“Together our state and federal partners have provided nearly $8 million toward the original planned $11 million construction budget,” TVCC President Dr. Dana M. Young said. “We have also already raised almost $2.3 million in grants, donations and pledges from regional and local businesses, foundations, and private individuals.”
Cathy Yasuda, Executive Director of the TVCC Foundation, said they have submitted more than $2.6 million in pending grant requests for the project. In addition to building funds, the TVCC Foundation has also raised $300,000 in new scholarships and donations for new program development and technology to support students in TVCC’s health care programs.
Yasuda also said the TVCC Foundation Board will donate $250,000 towards the project from the Foundation’s Barber Memorial Fund account. The Foundation will use these dollars as matching funds to encourage more donations. “This is an exciting opportunity for donors to double their gift by supporting this incredible project,” Yasuda added.
With $10.5 million raised, TVCC still needs $2.25 million to complete the project.
In January 2023, the TVCC Board of Education had approved a bridge loan of up to $4.95 million in the event the remaining funds were not raised by the time construction was scheduled to begin. Now, instead of utilizing a bridge loan at record-high interest rates, TVCC President Dana M. Young asked the Board to approve the use of internal funds to make up the difference in costs while the College continues fundraising.
“We are working hard to raise the money – and are confident we have the needed support – but this action tonight simply allows us to move forward with the construction timeline for this critical project,” Dr. Young added. “Approving the use of internal reserve funding – which includes dollars the College has been saving for other projects such as parking lots improvements, technology upgrades and campus enhancements – allows us to begin construction on the Nursing & Allied Health Professions Center while we continue fundraising to replace the dollars we have used.”
President Young told Board members she was grateful for their approval of the use of internal funds and assured them she is committed to continuing to raise money for this building. “By temporarily using our own funds, essentially borrowing from ourselves if we need to, we avoid paying interest on a loan and can instead use any additional funds to replenish those internal reserve accounts with revenue from enrollment in new and expanded health care programs," Young added.
Some Board members questioned whether the College had considered reducing the building size to save money. President Young responded, "Not only would changing the project scope require us to go back to its State and Federal partners to get approval for the change, but it would significantly limit TVCC’s ability to expand the nursing program or add any additional healthcare programs."
As part of the cost-savings efforts, President Young said the College did consider postponing almost $386,000 in construction costs by leaving some of the classrooms unfinished until a later date. Board members ultimately decided against that option. They agreed delaying completion would reduce the number of classes the College could immediately offer, impact the College’s ability to replenish the internal accounts used to fund the project, and more importantly limit student enrollment in much-needed programs.
TVCC Nursing Instructor Molly Lightfield also shared that concern. “We have an incredible nursing program – one of the best in the region. Great nurses are graduating from TVCC, and we have a 100% pass-rate on the national nurse licensing exam this last year. There is still such a need for nurses, but we need more lab and classroom space before we can admit any more students,” Lightfield said. TVCC currently has 48 students in its nursing program and hopes to grow the program to enroll 64 students in the new building.
TVCC’s Executive Director of Nursing and Allied Health Programs Mara Poynter also echoed that in her public comments to the TVCC Board. “We are already at capacity in our current building,” Poynter said. “We are squeezed in as tight as we can be for classes and labs, which is fine today; but we do not have any room to grow, and this will impact our ability to do anything more.” Poynter also spoke about the need to expand medical assistant and nursing assistant classes, to continue to enhance our EMS offerings from emergency medical technician through paramedic licensure, and through the growth of additional allied health fields like certified surgical tech or other technician-based health fields.
The Board's action and approval was significant not only for keeping the project on its timeline, but continued Board support allows the College to leverage this commitment as part of its fundraising efforts.
“We are grateful to all the donors and supporters who have already made an investment in the building, and we are excited about meeting with more community members to offer opportunities to be a part of this exciting effort,” Yasuda said.
“As you've heard, the TVCC Foundation is also pursuing several major grants to help support the project," Dr. Young said. "The Board's consistent, steady support for this incredible project, is critical to sustaining the momentum we have for completing our fundraising campaign."
TVCC’s new Nursing and Allied Health Professions Center is planned for completion in spring 2025.
To donate to this project, please contact Cathy Yasuda at email@example.com.
Find out more about the Imagine. Invest. Inspire. campaign to support TVCC's Nursing & Allied Health Professions Center here