Briar Cliff gears up to create new multi-million dollar healthcare facility

Published: Mar. 16, 2023 at 5:11 PM CDT
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SIOUX CITY (KTIV) - Briar Cliff University has finalized plans for a new, multi-million dollar healthcare workforce training facility, on its Sioux City campus.

Last May, the university announced plans to renovate one floor of Toller Hall, which is one of the school’s dorms, to house the new Health and Help Sciences School.

Plans changed as the administration realized the risk of altering Toller Hall to accommodate an educational facility. They also worried about what they may uncover in the building that was built in 1967.

So, they went back to the drawing board and came up with a $20 million project to tear down Toller Hall and replace it with an all-inclusive healthcare workforce training facility.

The project was unveiled after donations and grants to Briar Cliff including a $2 million grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration. University administrators took another look at how to expand what they offered and decided to go big.

“We came up with the College of Health & Equity, and what that means is all of our health care programs, all of our schools will be in it. School of Nursing, School of Social Work, and then our pro bono clinics,” said Michelle Boe, Vice President of University Advancement and General Counsel.

In addition to an academic learning experience, the new college will serve members of the community, who wouldn’t otherwise get treatment.

“A lot of the focus on this facility is helping with our community clinic, we have pro-bono clinics where our students actually are learning skills that are going to apply in their professional career while also providing service to families in the area,” said Dr. Todd Knealing, Vice President for Academic Affairs.

Right now, university officials say they have raised $ 8 million, which is nearly half of the project cost. They say the investment into the healthcare programs is going to make future students more employable.

“I think it’s just going to really prepare students to work with different interdisciplinary teams it’s going to make collaboration a lot better in all of the different health care setting and it’s just going to set Briar Cliff students to be better in the health care system,” said Kennedy Andersen, a Briar Cliff Senior nursing student

Work on the new College of Health & Equity should be completed in May of 2025.

Briar Cliff has plans to tear down Toller Hall in the spring of 2024.

University officials say, students who live in Toller Hall will be relocated to other residential halls on campus.