Education Ribbon Cutting

BVH Celebrates SCSU Ribbon Cutting

At the ribbon cutting (l-r): Joe Bertolino; Melody Lehrman, communication disorders clinic advocate; Terrence Cheng, CSCU president; Dan Ybanez, nursing student; Sandra Bulmer; Michelle Gilman, commissioner, State Department of Administrative Services; and Will Ginsberg, president and CEO, Community Foundation of Greater New Haven

New Haven, CT – BVH Integrated Services and Salas O’ Brien announced that the official ribbon cutting for Southern Connecticut State University’s (SCSU) new Health and Human Services building took place on Sept. 16 to a large audience of students, faculty, alumni, community organizers, dignitaries, and members of the design and construction team. Student ambassadors, who started classes in August, led tours of the 94,750sf building following the ceremony.

“Connecticut, as does most of the country, has critical shortages in many areas in the healthcare industry, and this new building will allow us to both increase enrollment and further diversify the state’s healthcare professional workforce,” said SCSU president, Joe Bertolino, in his opening remarks.

SCSU Health and Human Services building

The building brings programs formerly dispersed through eight buildings under one roof to improve collaborative learning opportunities while expanding enrollment capacity for nursing students. Designed by Svigals+Partners in collaboration with Little Diversified Architectural Consulting, the building is designed for training the next generation of nursing students and preparing graduates to fulfill much needed positions statewide.

Last month, Governor Ned Lamont used the new building as the backdrop to announce his administration’s “Connecticut Health Horizons” program, designed to help additional nurses get to work. It’s a $35 million investment in higher education to accelerate nursing education and training and provide financial aid to students.

Photo courtesy of SCSU, Isabel Chenoweth

The SCSU Health and Human Services building marks one of many nurse-training facilities completed by the BVH and Salas O’Brien team and includes systems to support state-of-the-art spaces that mimic real hospital environments, as well as those for health and movement sciences, and nutrition and public health learning spaces.

The team made a focused effort during design to manage the process, working with the College of Health and Human Services Dean Sandy Bulmer’s selected focus group representing approximately ten programs to make sure everything they needed fit in a way that the state could afford. Despite the Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent supply-chain delays that put the project almost a year behind schedule, the project finished below budget.

Photo courtesy of SCSU, Isabel Chenoweth

Regionally, the BVH and Salas O’Brien team’s experience includes projects at UConn, UConn Health, University of Saint Joseph, Quinnipiac University, and Springfield Technical Community College. Building on Salas O’Brien’s commitment to “local everywhere,” the new, four-story, 55,000sf Health Sciences Building at Southwestern Community College (Sylvia, N.C.) adds three new health science programs and space for an additional 288 students to use the latest healthcare technology and equipment in simulated hospital settings. At Appalachian State University (Boone, N.C.), Salas O’Brien provided engineering design for the Levine Hall of Health Sciences, a new, 203,000sf, 5-story, $64 million medical education facility with state-of-art learning in partnership with the adjacent community hospital.