Center for Allied Health and Athletics
Center for Allied Health project to boost local economy
Chesapeake College's proposed $36 million Center for Allied Health and Athletics won't just address community educational and workforce training needs. It will also pump a considerable amount of money into a local economy still feeling the effects of the national recession.
"Any economist will tell you that construction projects are one of the top strategies for stimulating the economy," said Mike Kilgus, Chesapeake College's vice president for administrative services. "A project of this magnitude will employ more than 400 people, nearly all of them local. Those people in turn spend a considerable amount of money in our local economy."
Kilgus said the project, which will take three to four years to complete, will employ architects, engineers, electricians, plumbers, masons, general construction workers and support staff. And no matter what general contractor wins the bid, Kilgus said virtually all of the subcontractors will be local for economic reasons.
"The general contractor tries to get all of the subcontractors from the region in which they are working," said Kilgus. "That is the only way the companies seeking to be the project's general contractor can hope to win the competitive bidding process."
The project's economic benefits for the region are an attractive bonus. The primary goal of the project is to address the region's need for expanding nursing and allied health education and training, according to Chesapeake College President Dr. Barbara Viniar.
"Nursing and allied health are high-demand programs nationwide, but that is particularly the case in our region," said Dr. Viniar. "We have an aging population that will require increasing access to health care. The college's ability to train local citizens for careers in nursing, radiology, surgical tech, phlebotomy and other allied health fields is critical to meeting our region's future health care needs."
The proposed project will also provide a much-needed renovation for the college's athletic facilities, which are over four decades old. The Physical Education Building's systems are well past their useful life and in desperate need of renovation, according to Kilgus.
"We have over 100 student athletes who annually compete in intercollegiate sports in antiquated facilities, and hundreds of students, staff, faculty and community members who used fitness facilities much too small for the number of people served," said Dr. Richard Midcap, vice president for student success and enrollment services.