The United States Department of Agriculture has approved Pfeiffer University's application for a USDA Rural Development Community Facilities Direct Loan. The loan, which amounts to $34.5 million, will allow Pfeiffer University to begin and secure several specific initiatives. The process to secure the USDA Rural Development Community Facilities Direct Loan started in Fall 2016.
Among these initiatives is the construction of the Pfeiffer University Health Science Center in Albemarle, North Carolina. This state-of-the-art facility will be home to the graduate Physician Assistant Studies program and the Occupational Therapy program. Once construction is complete, the Pfeiffer University Health Science Center will also provide an additional resource for affordable health care in the area. The development of the Pfeiffer University Health Science Center is a critical component of the revitalization of downtown Albemarle.
(Related: Click to learn more about the Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies.)
With Pfeiffer's commitment to providing top-tier healthcare education, planned renovations to the Harris Science Building will see completion. These renovations will allow for the expansion of the Bachelor of Science in Nursing program. The reconfiguration of classroom space will be able to accommodate an additional ten nursing students.
Other planned renovations will take place in Goode Hall which was closed in 2010 due to the accumulation of deferred maintenance. With the reopening of Goode Hall, academic support services such as tutoring and career services can be moved to a single location improving student services. Renovations to classrooms and the art gallery in Goode Hall will provide additional academic and multiuse space. Plans to add elevators to Goode Hall and the Administration building are also in place.
The approval of the USDA Rural Development Community Facilities Direct Loan will allow Pfeiffer University to consolidate and pay off the current institutional debt incurred by previous renovations. Pfeiffer University President Dr. Colleen Perry Keith says that it is an exciting time for Pfeiffer University but the approval of the USDA loan is only the beginning of creating long-term sustainable growth. "Much of our day-to-day business will remain the same. We will, however, be able to move ahead with programs and facility improvements that help our overall position: better space for teaching and learning, additional revenue, and student and employee satisfaction."
Pfeiffer University officials say that projects are expected to begin as early as December 2018 in Albemarle and the Spring of 2019 on the Misenheimer campus.