Nursing school dedicates renovated building

Morty Ortega | Baylor University

By Rewon Shimray | Staff Writer

Baylor’s Louise Herrington School of Nursing renovated Academic Building was dedicated at 1:30 p.m. Thursday at 333 N. Washington Ave. in Dallas.

The Academic Building is on the grounds of the former Baptist General Convention of Texas headquarters, 0.2 miles from the original School of Nursing campus. The renovation added 100,000 square feet and doubled the original building’s space. While the Academic Building will be used for holding large classes, events and community areas, the older campus will be used for research and laboratories.

President Dr. Linda Livingstone said in a press release that Louise Herrington School of Nursing illustrates many of the priorities of Illuminate, the academic strategic plan, through “ensuring a transformational undergraduate experience, demonstrating to our students how their professions and their faith animate one another and exemplifying how faculty research can blend seamlessly with excellence in teaching, benefiting our students through rich experiences through their years of school and informing their practice.”

Littleton, Colo., senior Haley Chirico started attending the School of Nursing in Dallas in August 2017 and said it has been “awesome to experience the transformation” from the old building to the new one that began renovation in January 2017.

Before the new building, Chirico said big events were held at other locations because of a lack of space at the original campus. Some classes were even forced to be split in two — one group meeting in the hospital and the other on campus. The renovated space features a central atrium, active learning classrooms, an auditorium, large lecture halls and a Learning Resource Center to accommodate larger groups, according to the press release.

“We never really had an opportunity to gather together as a community before,” Chirico said.

Chirico said the new chapel will create a place to have fellowship with others, as well as to go alone to “be recharged to be God’s hands and feet to serve others.” The location provides a space for everyday community-building too, according to Chirico. She said the Nursing School did not have any places for people to study together, so it was rare to see study groups on campus. Seeing people more frequently will allow more opportunities to make interpersonal connections, Chirico said.

“For people who are nervous about leaving Baylor because they might feel alone, it is super great that they are able to come here and find community again,” Chirico said. “I think it’s exciting, because it provides boys and girls who are looking at nursing school a new outlook on it.”

The Louise Herrington School of Nursing’s Academic Building $18 million renovation project began in January 2017 with the significant contributions from Louise Herrington Ornelas and the Baylor Regent Emeritus Drayton McLane Jr. and his wife, Elizabeth.

The dedication was held in the auditorium with 200 to 250 guests. Multiple members of the Baylor community — deans, members of the Board of Regents and President Livingstone — spoke to honor the past, to look forward and to give thanks.

“I am truly honored to be a part of this historic day along with many generous donors and our spectacular students, faculty and staff who fling their green and gold in Dallas.” Livingstone said in her Presidential Perspective Thursday.