The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Local News

January 3, 2008

New WVSOM building on tap for ’09

LEWISBURG — Groundbreaking ceremonies for a new $9.3 million facility at the West Virginia Osteopathic School of Medicine have been scheduled for late February or early March, officials announced Thursday.

The college’s new Center for Clinical Evaluation will be constructed by Radford and Radford of Beckley and used exclusively as an instructional facility, WVSOM President Olen E. Jones said.

“This new facility will place WVSOM’s instructional facilities for medical education on the cutting edge,” Jones said.

The 19,000-square-foot building will include 24 examination rooms outfitted with video cameras to be used for student evaluations, laboratories to accommodate six new robot-simulated patients and a 105-space parking area.

Larry Kelley, WVSOM vice president for finance and facilities, said the $9.3 million will come directly from the college’s “institutional accumulations” fund for one-time expenditures.

“These funds come from a combination of student tuition fees along with general revenue that is appropriated from the state Legislature,” Kelley said Thursday.

Kelley said the recent doubling of the college’s class size, combined with a 5 percent tuition increase, are two contributing factors allowing for the construction of the new facility. In 2006, tuition fees accounted for $10.9 million in revenue, but in 2007, with the influx of about 100 new students, it increased to about $16.4 million.

Kelley said as of last June, total expenditures for fiscal year 2007 at the college were $20.6 million and operating revenues were about $26 million.

“The college is debt-free,” Kelley added. “Plus, it’s important to note that with the doubling of the class size that the faculty also had to increase.”

School officials said under Jones’ 20-year tenure 19 campus construction and renovation projects have been completed, totaling about $38.3 million. The campus has grown from one main building to its current 12 facilities spread over 44 acres.

The school’s current undertaking will be the costliest construction to date since Jones became president, public relations specialist Jeffrey D. Cobb said.

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