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KAI Breaks Ground on St. Louis Community College’s New $62M Center for Nursing and Health Sciences

ST. LOUIS, MO — Construction has started on a new $62 million Center for Nursing and Health Sciences at St. Louis Community College’s (STLCC) Florissant Valley campus in Ferguson, Missouri. Minority-owned KAI is the architect and MEP engineer on the academic building.

A groundbreaking event was recently held, with construction expected to be completed by fall 2024. PARIC Corp. is the general contractor on the project.

KAI designed the 100,000-square-foot, four-story building to meet the job training and retaining demands of St. Louis area hospitals and health care system. It will be home to the college’s first bachelor’s degree. The building is also designed to achieve a LEED v4 Silver certification, with accessibility and inclusivity being a major focus.

Features of the new facility include:

  • Indoor and outdoor student gathering spaces
  • Classrooms expanding capacity for STLCC’s nursing, dental hygiene, and radiology technology programs
  • Simulator labs to prepare students for careers in emergency medical technology and paramedic technology
  • Classroom space for behavioral health support and deaf communications studies programs to support holistic aspects of health care and patients with additional needs
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“This state-of-the-art building will enable us to provide an even richer environment for the next generation of front-line health care heroes in the St. Louis region,” said Florissant Valley Campus President and Chief Academic Officer Elizabeth Gassel Perkins, Ed.D. “Students who study and learn in this facility will be well prepared to excel as they enter the workforce. Of course, we are most excited that this new building will provide an opportunity for the expansion of programs to the North St. Louis County area.”

The college’s Nursing and Health Sciences program currently attracts over 900 students and is projected to grow significantly, with the college’s current facilities not able to meet anticipated industry growth and technological advances.

“The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that the growth rate for registered nurses between 2021 and 2031 will be above average at 6%. It also predicts that more than 200,000 job openings for registered nurses each year will occur over the next decade,” said Rick L. Stevens, M.P.H., F.A.C.H.E., President of Christian Hospital and Northwest Healthcare. “We know there’s a big need right now for registered nurses, but there is a big need also for people in health care overall, so it’s a great field to be in.”

In 2019, STLCC completed a new Center for Nursing and Health Sciences building, also designed by KAI, at its Forest Park sister campus. The facility was the college’s first new building in over 20 years. The four-level, 96,000-square-foot learning center sits along Oakland Avenue and was designed to achieve a LEED v4 Silver certification.

KAI’s design team worked closely with the campus’ team of staff, user groups, and campus engineering to craft a learning environment focused on cultivating job-ready graduates.

“This new building is historic for the Florissant Valley campus because it will not only serve to fill the dire need for health care professionals, but it will also establish the entry point of this campus and serve as a landmark for many generations to come,” said KAI Chairman Michael E. Kennedy, Sr., R.A.

KAI Enterprises is a national design and build firm providing delivery-oriented building solutions with a portfolio of experience, in-house multi-discipline professionals, and expertise in both design and construction delivery. Founded in 1980, KAI has grown into one of the largest minority-owned firms in the AEC industry. For more than 40 years, KAI has provided expertise in residential, commercial, K-12, higher education, health care, science and technology, aviation, mobility, sports and entertainment, government, water, and community-focused projects.

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