As part of Governor Charlie Baker’s $2.6 billion capital plan, North Shore Community College will receive a $14.1 million state bond investment to create a Life Science Pathways Center on its Danvers campus.
Creation of the Center will include renovating six biology, chemistry, anatomy and physiology, biotechnology, and prep labs, and complete renovation of HVAC and student lab areas to include advanced technology and state-of-the-art equipment.
“We are exceedingly grateful to the Administration for recognizing the necessity to fund critically needed renovations and repairs to the existing space located in the Math and Science building on the college’s Danvers campus,” said NSCC Interim President Nate Bryant. “NSCC’s current STEM labs are 26 years old and inadequate to prepare students for the major industries in the Metro-Boston area, especially in healthcare and STEM industries. The lab layouts are inefficient, the equipment and furnishings are dated, and the infrastructure makes some experiments unsafe to implement, thereby restricting the ability of the College to prepare students for internships and careers.
“The proposed Danvers renovations will create an improved teaching and learning environment with state-of-the-art equipment, supporting a diverse and educated workforce from which innovation will spring. NSCC needs educational space for today’s environment in order to prepare students with the industry-relevant laboratory experiences they require to be competitive in the healthcare and STEM workforce,” Bryant added.
NSCC envisions the updates as a multi-year project, beginning with design of the space and planning for swing space to accommodate Allied Health and STEM students during the construction phase. In addition, the timeframe allows for input from NSCC and secondary school faculty and staff partners around curriculum development and secondary to post-secondary linkage activities, including internships, career skills/workforce development and Early College pathways.
In a letter of support for the project, Mary Sarris, Executive Director of the MassHire Workforce Investment Board, noted, “This funding will have lasting impact on the region, our workforce training and education partnership with NSCC, and the need for skilled workers in STEM and Allied Health related sectors. Meeting the demand for lab technicians, lab technologists, nurses and health care administrators for these critical sectors is a priority in the Northeast region.”
The NSCC Foundation has committed to raise a maximum of $200,000 to help fund the project.
Governor Baker’s plan supports economic recovery and growth as Massachusetts emerges from the coronavirus pandemic. His plan provides support for the public higher education system — including $87 million for five new major capital projects at colleges and universities, including NSCC. The capital investments at these colleges and universities are focused on strengthening programming that connects students with high-demand fields like STEM and health care, which will remain crucial to the Commonwealth’s economic recovery.
NSCC is also working with its federal legislative delegation to secure similar funding to renovate its science labs in Lynn, which date back to 1985.