The West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine (WVSOM) is geared for growth with the expansion of one of its buildings and the construction of a new building that will be dedicated to student testing.
The Center for Technology and Rural Medicine, which houses the main lecture classrooms for students, will have 6,800 square feet renovated for office suites. The renovation is expected to be complete by the end of August.
The Testing Center, a new 26,756 square-foot building that will be located behind the Center for Technology and Rural Medicine, broke ground in early April.
Craig Boisvert, D.O., FACOFP, WVSOM’s vice president for academic affairs and dean, said the new facility is important in offering a dedicated testing area rather than the open-style lecture classrooms where students typically take exams.
“The space will provide a quiet environment for students when testing. It will simulate the experience encountered when taking their licensing exams,” he said. “When not in use for testing, the cubicles will be available for studying.”
The building will consist of one large testing room and offices. The testing room will accommodate one class at a time and will have internet and power outlet connections in each space. A portion of the building will be connected to the school’s Clinical Evaluation Center. Testing Center construction is expected to be complete in July 2022.
The expansion and new construction will cost $9,964,518, according to Larry Ware, MBA, CPA, WVSOM’s vice president for finance and facilities. The project is completely self-funded by WVSOM through institutional funds, he said.
“We are able to self-fund the construction of the project because of years of good business practices and our conservative approach to budgeting,” Ware said.
Expanding the Center for Technology and Rural Medicine was first proposed in WVSOM’s Facilities Master Plan, created in 2011, but discussions and planning for a center for testing began in November 2017.
Infrastructure remains one of the five areas of focus in WVSOM’s most recent five-year institutional strategic plan. This area addresses developing and implementing a new facilities master plan that assesses and advances the school’s facility needs.
“It’s incredible to think about our school’s growth during the last 49 years. This medical school began with one building, and now our campus is filled with facilities that allow for innovative medical education for our students,” said James W. Nemitz, Ph.D., WVSOM’s president. “These new construction projects represent growth and our commitment to providing students with opportunities that will make them better physicians.”
ZMM Architects & Engineers, with headquarters in Charleston, W.Va., and DCI Shires, a construction company based in Bluefield, W.Va., are completing the projects.