FISHERSVILLE -- Mary Baldwin College celebrated a milestone Thursday in the construction of the new Murphy Deming College of Health Sciences facility in Fishersville.
Members of the Mary Baldwin board of trustees and staff gathered at the construction site near Augusta Health to see the last piece of steel hoisted in the front of the building. Construction is estimated to be about 20 percent complete on the 53,000-square-foot building.
Mary Baldwin Vice President of Business and Finance David Mowen said the beam put in place Thursday signifies that the project is on track for completion next May. Classes in the doctor of physical therapy and doctor of occupational therapy in May Baldwin's new graduate programs will begin in June 2014. The physician assistant studies program classes start in 2015. Enrollment is expected to be around 300 for the programs, according to Mary Baldwin President Pamela Fox.
Mowen credits the "intense coordination'' between the design team, engineers, construction managers and subcontractors with the project being on track. Ground was broken last October. "They have kept the project on schedule,'' Mowen said.
Initial work on the 30-acre site included grading and site preparation.
When complete, the building will serve as the centerpiece of Mary Baldwin's new graduate programs. But other work regarding the new programs is happening while the new campus bricks and mortar are being finished.
Linda Stanford, vice president of health sciences at Mary Baldwin, said accreditation steps are being taken for all three programs.
"Each discipline has its own accrediting agency,'' said Stanford, who said accreditation is a complex process.
And Stanford said faculty and other staff are now being hired in the programs.
Fox showed visitors work that is going on adjacent to the Murphy Deming facility. Work is being done on housing units.
A $15 million gift from lead donor Bertie Murphy Deming Smith and a partnership with Augusta County paved the way for the new graduate programs for Mary Baldwin.