PLanning a big future

Midway plans to build classroom building and nursing home

gkocher1@herald-leader.comNovember 13, 2009 

MIDWAY — Midway College plans to build a $5 million classroom center and has reached an agreement with a faith-based provider to put a nursing home/assisted-living center on the school's Woodford County campus.

The developments announced Thursday will "transform the face and capacity of Midway College," said James J. O'Brien, chairman of the private college's board of trustees.

College President William Drake said the planned classroom building will allow the college to more than double its total enrollment, to about 4,000 during the next five years.

The new building, scheduled to open in 2010, will include classroom space for as many as 80 nursing students, classrooms with smart board technology, 48 faculty offices and a student lounge. It also will have an equine laboratory to study horse anatomy.

The new building is to replace the Starks Building, built in 1925.

Drake said 1,800 students are enrolled at Midway's daytime women's college, in night classes in the school for career development, at 14 satellite campuses around the state and in online and graduate programs. About 700 of those students attend classes on the main campus in Woodford County.

The college's trustees have donated most of the $3.3 million raised for the classroom building, Drake said. He anticipated that the balance will come from alumni and foundations.

The Homeplace, as the proposed nursing home/assisted living center is called, is planned to go on college property known locally as the Davis Farm, east of the main campus. The college's board of trustees approved an option for Christian Care Communities of Louisville to buy the six-acre tract, Drake said.

Christian Care Communities will own and manage the nursing home. The organization is affiliated with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), the same denomination with which the college is affiliated.

"To our knowledge it would be the first in the state to be located on a college campus," Drake said. The college envisions students being able to take clinicals, or supervised work with patients, at the nursing home and to learn basic skills such as taking blood pressure and giving injections.

"A lot of colleges around the country are doing this, and this would be the first in Kentucky," said Suellen Brill, director of public relations for Christian Care Communities.

Midway has oriented its nursing program around elder care. "Elder-care nursing will be the way that our nursing program will be branded in the future," Drake said.

In 2007, the college had discussed putting The Homeplace on a four-acre tract near Northside Elementary School, but that site proved unsuitable because of underlying rock.

Greg Kocher covers Woodford County for the Herald-Leader. Reach him in the Nicholasville bureau at (859) 885-5775.

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