An $8 million gift from the Robert W. Woodruff Foundation will allow Georgia Health Sciences University to add to a new classroom building a feature it otherwise couldn’t – a state-of-the-art simulation center for interdisciplinary training.
It also brings the school closer to its goal for private fundraising to complete the new Education Commons building.
The five-story, 160,000-square-foot building is awaiting $35 million in bond funding from the state. The university has raised $23 million on its own, including the new grant, with a goal of raising $30 million of the $76.5 million total price.
The university originally committed to raising $20 million in private funding but has now set a higher goal, said Susan Barcus, the senior vice president for advancement and community relations and Chief Development Officer at GHSU.
“This is one of our largest foundation gifts and it is the largest gift that the Woodruff Foundation has given to Georgia Health Sciences University,” she said. “We are absolutely thrilled with the size and scope of the gift.”
While the university has “incredible” simulation labs now, “space is an issue,” Barcus said, and it limits the number of people who can use them.
The new simulation labs, which will be used by all students, will allow those from different areas to train together, she said.
“We can have nursing students along with our medical students and we just truly don’t have the room in our current spaces to do that,” Barcus said. “This is just another piece to the education puzzle.”