Virginia Western Ready to Open New Building - FOX 21/27 WFXR Roanoke/WWCW Lynchburg News, Weather

Virginia Western Ready to Open New Building

Posted: Updated:

Some Virginia Western students will be learning in a new building this fall.

"It's extremely exciting. We've been watching it over the last year and the faculty started to get more excited as we started seeing things developing," said Anne Prucha, who oversees all associate degree nursing programs.

Prucha is one of the many professors, employees, and construction crews putting the final touches on labs inside the new Virginia Western Center for Science and Health Professions, which opens to students on Wednesday.

One of the many pieces of new equipment is a linear accelerator, used for treating cancer patients inside cancer centers.

"To my knowledge this is the only machine of its type in the state community college system and one of the few in the country. It's a very progressive piece of equipment," said Carole Graham, the dean of Health Professions.

Graham said a new a linear accelerator is a $5 million investment, but Virginia Western got a refurbished one for about $350,000. A cancer center would have paid three times that price.

The new Virginia Western Center for Science and Health Professions cost more than $26 million. It's four stories tall and nearly 70,000 square feet.

The building includes science labs for chemistry and biology, nursing labs and an all-new digital dental lab.

The new equipment is giving students real experience before getting a job.

"It's going to be a huge benefit for the Roanoke Valley because most of these people will stay in the area after they graduate," Prucha said.