Kettering College Officials Celebrate Opening of $22 Million Boonshoft Center for Medical Sciences
Kettering - It will be a little less crowded around Kettering College of Medical Arts this fall, thanks to the opening of the Boonshoft Center for Medical Sciences at 3737 Southern Blvd., Kettering. Ribbon cutting ceremonies will formally open the new $22 million facility at 5 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 3.
Professors, students and Kettering Medical Center and Greater Dayton leadership will be among the 700-plus people in attendance. The building was greatly needed for Kettering College, which in recent years has struggled to find space to educate its rapidly-increasing study body.
“This is an extremely exciting time for us here,” said Kettering College President Charles Scriven, PhD. “Our classrooms were overcrowded to a degree that it drew the notice of our credentialing bodies, and rightly so. That situation just could not continue, and our community and parent institutions rallied on our behalf. We take our commitment to our community seriously, too, and we know Greater Dayton needs more professionals of the sort only we can provide them. We’re in this together.”
Nationally-recognized local philanthropist Oscar Boonshoft fueled the project with $5 million in support. The late Mrs. Virginia Kettering, who helped establish the college, also supported the expansion, as did Ms. Eva Miller, the late Jerome Epstein Jr., and The Kettering Fund. A total of 37 individuals and foundations will be recognized within the building for their contributions toward the project.
Before the new Boonshoft Center’s ground breaking two years ago, Kettering College had seen a 33 percent increase in enrollment over a three-year period. Total enrollment for this fall is expected to continue to be just over 800 students, and the expansion has allowed for the creation of new pre-med, pre-dental and master’s programs.
“Nurses, physician assistants, radiology techs and other allied health professionals are in such great demand lately, and the vast majority of the professionals Kettering College has educated have historically stayed here in Ohio,” said KMC President Fred Manchur. “This is a very important development for area healthcare and for the Dayton economy in general. Jobs from many other fields are leaving the area, and healthcare is a natural area of growth to help keep our community vital.”
Innovative use of color and interior design, an expansive student life center and several contemporary teaching elements help make The Boonshoft Center a stimulating environment for learning. The entire building is wireless, and the new Learning Commons makes efficient use of its two-level design with electronic, high-density shelving. Outside the Learning Commons is a lovely courtyard that has been cut into the ground, providing a great spot for study and entertainment during good weather.
“We’re bringing the most contemporary concepts of learning into this new space, and every aspect of design works to ingrain learning throughout the college community,” said Dean Norman Wendth, PhD. “Human simulators will soon challenge the diagnostic skills of our students by offering changes in vital signs and other readings, and we are planning to accommodate this technology. The latest in audio-visual technology will allow our Kettering College instructors to teach students half-way around the world from the friendly confines of the Boonshoft Center for Medical Sciences.”
“Our newest classrooms have eliminated the “power position” once held by the instructor at the head of the class,” Dean Wendth added. “ Now the instructor is a facilitator sitting among the students, as we are teaching them to think critically and we are sharing responsibility with the students to guide their learning. Obviously, times change and we have to change with them if we are to continue to attract the best and brightest in students and faculty.”
While the Kettering College portion accounts for $14 million of the expense and is the predominant presence in the new building, it is not the only one. Approximately $8 million of the building cost is for the Wallace-Kettering Neuroscience Institute (WKNI) and other KMC-related entities on other floors. The top floor will be the new home for WKNI, currently housed on the fifth floor of the KMC Physician Office Building.
WKNI physicians use some of the newest procedures for the diagnosis and treatment of neurological disorders. Scientists at WKNI are investigating the latest treatments for stroke in the “ASP II Study” and they are unlocking the mysteries of one of the brain’s most misunderstood diseases in the “Boonshoft Schizophrenia Study.”
Thursday’s ribbon cutting will kick off sixteen months of activities surrounding the College’s 40th anniversary in 2007. An expanded convocation ceremony, an “Eyes on Alumni” program, an academic conference, and an expanded alumni weekend are also in the works. For additional details, see the College internet site: http://www.kc.edu/default.html