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Murray State University board of regents hears update on new nursing building

Derek Operle

Murray State University nursing and health professions students will be conducting their studies in a new building in a few years.

Jason Youngblood, MSU’s director of facilities management, said during a meeting of the college's Board of Regents Friday that the new building for the School of Nursing and Health Professions will be designed primarily by Lexington’s RossTarrant Architects.

The firm will work in conjunction with a trio of others: Maryland’s Ayers Saint Gross will handle nursing design aspects, Paducah’s Bacon Farmer Workman Engineering will handle structural, civil and landscape and Marcum Engineering, also of Paducah, will handle mechanical, electrical and plumbing design.

Youngblood wants to make sure that this new facility matches the character of the other buildings on campus, sticking to a Georgian style with red brick and white columns. He expects it to be at least two stories tall.

“We’re working with our design team to help us position that building the best to where it’ll be a proper balance of visibility and accessibility for a good look to our campus, tied into our campus,” Youngblood said. “We want it to match our campus architecture.”

The primary site for the future building is north of Faculty Hall and south of Central Plant on 16th Street,

MSU president Bob Jackson pointed out the convenience of this position, which he believes will allow for the development of the walkways around that part of campus to provide for easier commutes to and from the new facility.

The site – where the old Boy Scouts of America Museum once sat – is currently occupied by a parking lot and Youngblood said some parking will need to be offset in order to preserve the amount of available parking on campus.

The new nursing building is being funded by a $45.5 million appropriation from the state government.

Youngblood said design meetings began earlier this month and the building design phase will begin in July. Construction is expected to begin in March 2024 with the first classes being held in the facility in January 2025.

University finances

MSU vice president of finance and administrative services Jackie Dudley gave an overview of the school’s financial state, indicating that the finances appear “pretty flat,” due to a year-end pension reduction from last July.

Dudley said this pension adjustment makes the school’s net financial position – the combined total of its capital assets (things like buildings and infrastructure), restricted assets (endowments and contracts among other things) and unrestricted assets (working capital, allocated project funds and reserves) – merely look like “it’s really up.”

The school’s finance officer said the current net position is substantially greater than where the school was last year due to this pension adjustment. She said, although expenditures are up, MSU’s finances have been flat over the last three years.

In other university business:

Brandon Edmiston, the newest member of Murray State University's board of regents, is sworn in by Calloway County Judge-Executive Kenny Imes.
Derek Operle
Brandon Edmiston, the newest member of Murray State University's board of regents, is sworn in by Calloway County Judge-Executive Kenny Imes.

  • The board of regents’ newest member, Murray businessman Brandon Edmiston, was sworn in by Calloway County Judge-Executive Kenny Imes. 
  • Chestnut Bridge – which spans Chestnut Street, allowing campus foot traffic to safely cross over the street – is expected to close for a month this summer for maintenance. The section of Chestnut Street immediately below the structure is expected to be closed for as much as two months. During this time, some local traffic will be permitted along Chestnut Street and detour signs will be placed around the area and two alternate footpaths will be indicated by signage. 
  • The school’s “Be Bold Forever Blue and Gold” capital campaign continues to make progress, with more than $3 million raised since the December board of regents meeting, for a total of $55.6 million, according to MSU president Bob Jackson. The campaign’s goal is to raise $100 million. Half of these funds will be used to increase access and affordability for university students. The other half will be dedicated to academic excellence and the modernization of campus facilities and athletic programs.  

The entire Murray State Board of Regents meeting is available to stream below:

A native of western Kentucky, Operle earned his bachelor's degree in integrated strategic communications from the University of Kentucky in 2014. Operle spent five years working for Paxton Media/The Paducah Sun as a reporter and editor. In addition to his work in the news industry, Operle is a passionate movie lover and concertgoer.
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