Board OKs $13 million allied health building project at Penn State Mont Alto

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — In an effort to provide state-of-the-art facilities and accommodate future growth in the signature Nursing, Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) and Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA) programs at Penn State Mont Alto, the University’s Board of Trustees today (Nov. 9) approved Hord Coplan Macht, Inc. (HCM) of Baltimore, Maryland, as the architect for a new allied health building project. 

“By graduating nursing, OTA and PTA professionals who have impacted the region’s health for the last quarter century, Penn State Mont Alto is living its vision of improving lives,” said Penn State Mont Alto Chancellor Francis K. Achampong. “This 21st-century facility will provide our students with the appropriate learning environment, knowledge, and skills they need to meet the complex, evolving healthcare needs of a diverse, aging population,” he said. 

The $13 million building will provide an additional 21,000 square feet of instructional and office space and support the unique needs of the three programs. The building will feature dedicated simulation laboratories and an ambulance port for the nursing program; a simulated living space for the OTA program; and enhanced clinical space and equipment for the PTA program. 

“This new building will function as a central place for collaboration across our allied health programs,” said Michael Doncheski, Penn State Mont Alto chief academic officer. “The current trend in health care is to work in teams involving the various health-care disciplines — that is interprofessional collaboration — and interprofessional education is built into the accreditation standards of nursing, OTA, and PTA. In the exciting environment provided by the new building, our students will gain the knowledge and skills they need to fill essential positions in health care, achieving our mission to make a positive, lasting difference in our region,” said Doncheski.

HCM was selected because of its experience in designing and constructing allied health buildings. Its previous work include thes Darlington Hall School of Nursing and Allied Health Building at Harford Community College and the Gail S. & Bruce E. Boyer Health Professions & Wellness Center at Washington Adventist University.

Design of the new building is expected to be concluded in May 2020. Construction will start in July 2020 with expected occupancy in July 2021.