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WCU’s Millennial Campus gets its first building

The new Health and Human Sciences building is the first building to crown WCU’s Millennial Campus, and hopefully a stepping stone to help realize the initial vision for the 344-acre addition to campus.

The university purchased the Millenial Campus tract across the highway from its main campus in 2005 with the idea of creating a place as a place where academics, research, private industry and college life intersect.

WCU hopes the Health and Human Sciences building will become the epicenter of a health care consortium where students and professors study and teach alongside private health care providers, medical device companies and specialized clinics.

The College of Health and Human Sciences is currently waiting internal approval of a partnership with CarolinaWest Sports Medicine. The medical group would have space in the new building and work with the college’s athletic training department. CarolinaWest currently provides medical assistance for WCU’s sports teams.

Other businesses have approached the university but nothing is final.

“We get a number of inquiries on a regular basis from companies who have interest,” said Tom McClure, director of Office of Partnership Development. “We are hoping some of that will materialize in the next few months.”

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However, it is premature to name any companies, McClure said.

The next building slated for construction on WCU’s Millenial Campus is the College of Education. But, that might not get underway for years because of state funding cuts and the slowly recovering economy. WCU will look for donors anywhere they can find them.

“We really don’t have any money for the Millennial Campus development,” said McClure. “We are going to be seeking a variety of sources (for money.)”

In addition to seeking private donations, WCU could decide to make the millennial campus the focus of a new capital campaign. However, everything is still up in the air.

The university recently approved a new strategic plan, which offers some guidelines for its future. Administrators within various departments must create their own goals and visions for their departments.

One item that will need to be addressed is continuity of building appearance. Health and Human Services faculty members had input on the design of their new building and so will the education professors. But, visually, the buildings must retain a similar look.

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