by Libby Thornton
Troy University is 25 percent done with $57 million worth of construction projects that will transform the campus.
The buildings are on track to be completed in May 2024, and they’ll match the university’s architecture, said Robert Burkey, Troy University’s Executive Director of Facility Operations.
“In the higher educational setting it’s all about recruiting,” Burkey said. “We’re competing for students and the look and feel of a campus plays a large part in that.”
The building set to house the College of Health and Human services will have state-of-the-art teaching labs and training spaces that Dr. Lance Tatum, the Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, said will be “second to none in the state.”
The building will expand the simulation ability for nursing students significantly, said Teresa Law, an assistant nursing professor and program coordinator.
That simulation provides students with a safe place to learn practical skills before entering the clinical setting, Law added.
The nursing school is currently looking for funding to support efforts to create a virtual and augmented reality lab.
“If this is supported, we hope to offer this alternative and innovative simulation experience to our students in the future,” Law said. “No other university that we are aware of currently has virtual reality and augmented reality in Alabama as part of the curriculum for nursing students.”
The new Center for Material and Manufacturing Sciences research building will not contain students or classrooms. The building will solely house the polymer science research.
The largest plastic recycling facility in the world, KNW plastics, is based here in Troy. The firm is currently researching new ways to break down plastics and turn the remains into recycled products.
“We are in the business of helping the polymer world solve problems related to making processes more cost effective and finding ways to reduce the total number of plastics found in landfills and the ocean,” Tatum said.
Polymer science may become an academic program down the road, but for now the building will solely contain polymer scientists, who are seeking to find more sustainable polymers made from natural substances like chicken feathers and wood.
“This is the first time Troy University will have a building that is strictly dedicated to research,” Tatum added. “Having it on the quad will help elevate how research will be a part of our future and how it will be integrated into what we do in terms of the university’s ability to evolve.”