Today, Mars Hill University (MHU) Board of Trustees Chair Cheryl Pappas welcomed everyone to the groundbreaking for Ferguson Health Sciences Center.
The new building will be located on Hwy 213 (Cascade St.), at the corner of Joe Anderson Drive in Mars Hill. The Ferguson Health Sciences Center is named for Jack and Carolyn Ferguson of Candler, NC. The center is the future home of the planned Judge-McRae School of Nursing, which is named for MHU alumni Norman ’84 and Linda Judge McRae ’86 of Knoxville, TN.
“This project is an example of the importance that USDA Rural Development places on investments in education for future generations,” said Randall Gore, State Director.
The three-story, 28,731 square foot facility is expected to be completed by the fall of 2016, when Mars Hill officials hope to begin a pre-licensure undergraduate Bachelor of Nursing program, pending approval by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges and the North Carolina Board of Nursing.
USDA Rural Development invests in jobs, infrastructure, community development, health, education, homeownership and affordable rental housing to improve the economic health of rural communities. In Fiscal Year 2014, the agency invested more than $1.4 billion in rural North Carolina through affordable loans, loan guarantees and grants. USDA, through its Rural Development mission area, has an active portfolio of more than $208 billion in loans and loan guarantees. For more information about Rural Development programs in North Carolina, visit www.rd.usda.gov/nc.
President Obama's plan for rural America has brought about historic investment and resulted in stronger rural communities. Under the President's leadership, these investments in housing, community facilities, businesses and infrastructure have empowered rural America to continue leading the way – strengthening America's economy, small towns and rural communities. USDA's investments in rural communities support the rural way of life that stands as the backbone of our American values.