On July 2, CCBC celebrated another strand of what has become a recurring theme for us over the past decade: celebrating a milestone in the launch of another new building. We cheered the “topping off,” or the placement of the final beam, on the steel frame of the structure soon to be known as the Carol Diane Eustis Center for Health Professions. This building, appropriately named after the late Dean of the School of Health Professions, is a tribute to Carol’s vision, tenacity, spirit, talent, skill and sheer dogged competitiveness.
When it comes to campus real estate, CCBC has a particular challenge. Whereas most colleges have a single campus with five to seven buildings, CCBC has six sites. Our footprint includes three large campuses – two which are 60 years old – housing 45 buildings across 1.5 million square feet. Well, 60 is not such a bad age for a person, but it is a terrible age for a building! Because we are the size and heft of a small city, CCBC’s particular challenge is how to stagger renewal needs against an always restricted capital budget. But thanks to a high level of support from state and county legislators, over the past decade we have been steadily making our way through a $350M investment in renovation and new construction.
Recognizing that we will never have all of the capital dollars we might wish we had, one of our mantras at CCBC is “Put your money where your mission is!” Since CCBC is the largest provider of undergraduate health care education in the state, what better way to show that we live that commitment than by creating the most state-of-the-art Health Careers learning environment imaginable. With 35 different health career concentrations across a credit and non-credit program continuum, we are the best, not because we say so, but because every hospital, doctor’s office and medical facility in the region ranks CCBC’s programs at or near the top when it comes to medical training.
So as we all cheered as construction crews hoisted the beam into the air as an under-utilized grassy plot is slowly transformed into a state-of-the-art instructional facility. This new building, certified at the Silver Lead level, will be a four-story, 120,000 square foot laboratory of learning for 21st century faculty to teach 21st century students who must be trained to be 21st century health professionals. Beautiful, functional and sustainable, its massive presence will lend an air of pride and confidence as an entry way to the CCBC Essex campus. July 2, 2019 now resides in CCBC’s annals as another proud moment in the college’s history…one that will have a positive, long term impact on students for many years to come. I’d say that is indeed “putting your money where your mission is!”