St. John’s University recently celebrated the commencement of construction on a new 70,000-square-foot facility that will serve as the permanent home of its Nursing School and wide-ranging health sciences programs. Located within the university’s primary campus in Hillcrest, Queens, the building will debut as the Health Sciences Center and will enrich the campus with new classrooms, laboratories, collaborative spaces, administrative offices, and simulation facilities for traditional clinical experiences and acute patient scenarios.
Additional components include an outdoor terrace and a roof-mounted solar array spanning roughly 67,000 square feet.
The groundbreaking of the Health Sciences Center coincides with International Nurses Day, which highlights the importance of the nursing profession.
“For the last two years, New York’s nurses have been on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic, and we owe each and every one of them a debt of gratitude,” said Governor Kathy Hochul. “This new state-of-the-art Health Sciences Center at St. John’s University will be crucial to educating the next generation of New York’s best and brightest nurses, ensuring they are ready to step up and protect their fellow New Yorkers when they are needed most.”
To make room for the new facility, the university has dismantled St. Vincent Hall, a 60-year-old residence hall with a dining center.
Total construction costs are estimated at $106 million with funding sourced from both private and public sources. This includes more than $20 million in philanthropic support. Additional funding includes a $1.25 million federal appropriation from the US Department of Health and Human Services’ Health Resources and Services Administration, a $5 million New York State Higher Education Capital Matching Grant, and a $700,000 Empire State Development grant from Round XI of the Regional Economic Development Council initiative.
“Investing in our workforce is an important priority for the Regional Councils and the pandemic has put a focus on the need to expand the talent pool of skilled nurses,” said New York City Regional Economic Development Council co-chair and partner at Fisher Brothers Winston Fisher. “The NYREDC is proud to support the Health Sciences Center at St. John’s University, which will be an important long-term investment in future healthcare workers that will expand our workforce of nurses with good-paying jobs while also growing the state’s economy.”
The facility is expected to open fall 2024.