WT nursing program to receive $6.5 million upgrade in downtown Amarillo

By Chip Chandler

The Texas A&M University System Board of Regents gave final approval today for a $6.5 million construction project in downtown Amarillo.

The third phase of renovating the second floor of the Harrington Academic Hall WTAMU Amarillo Center will complete the move of WT’s baccalaureate program in nursing from the Canyon campus.

The move will place 250 undergraduate students and approximately 20 nursing faculty and staff in Amarillo, and it will offer greater opportunities for collaboration between the nursing program and other WT programs including communication disorders, the Panhandle Area Education Center and the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension.

“This facility coming to fruition is one more big step in the College of Nursing and Health Sciences’ never-ending pursuit of excellence in education and in providing primary and preventative health services to citizens in our region,” said Dr. J. Dirk Nelson, dean of the College of Nursing and Health Sciences.

The collaborative partnerships will benefit from closer proximity by better promoting wellness services, such as those presented at the semiannual WT Inner City Health Fair, and helping prevent chronic disease.

The project, which is already in the design phase, will remodel approximately 25,000 square feet in the Harrington Hall into faculty and administrative offices, preceptorial and simulation debriefing rooms, nursing skills laboratories, high-fidelity simulation laboratories and an assessment center, Nelson said.

Currently, nursing faculty and administration are housed in Old Main on the Canyon campus, with classroom and laboratory facilities in the Bivins Nursing Learning Center. In order to expand the nursing program, part of the goal to become a locally responsive research center as laid out in the University’s generational plan WT 125: From the Panhandle to the World, more space is needed.

Construction is slated to begin in November and be substantially finished by September 2021. The total project budget is $7 million.

For more information about the WT nursing program, call 806-651-2630 or email nursing@wtamu.edu.