ESCANABA - Thanks to a bill signed by Gov. Rick Snyder, Bay de Noc Community College will be receiving $750,000 to remodel the largest lecture hall on campus and upgrade nursing program equipment.
Plans for the money include upgrades to the lecture hall. The 1,350 square foot lecture hall is also the last room on campus to be made compliant with Americans with Disabilities Act regulations.
"We're going to redo the whole nursing training area, said Kim Carne, executive director of advancement.
A portion of the money will be used to purchase special mannequins to train nursing students in scenarios they may not experience in their clinical hours. "Students will be better prepared because they'll have more lifelike experience when they're training," said Carne. "It's just amazing technology."
The mannequins can simulate strokes, hemorrhages, and even tell students how they are feeling. The simulations are designed by instructors. "The mannequins are computer controlled so they build computer simulations," said Carne.
The college originally applied for the state funding five years ago. "There wasn't and money for capital outlays so it just sat there," said Carne. "We're really excited because we've been planning for several years."
Seventeen other schools across the state will be receiving part of the $304 million set aside for school infrastructure projects.
The total cost of the college's plans to upgrade the nursing training area is $1.5 million. "Half of the balance is from a private donor and half will be matched by the college," said Carne.
OSF St. Francis Hospital also donated 11 cardiac monitors to the project. "They also knew that we were planning to do this," said Carne.
Bay College had plans in place to purchase the mannequins even if the state funding had not been received. "It makes a huge difference in being able to modernize and bring leading edge technology into the classroom," said Carne. "We were planning to use the mannequins in an old nursing lab but this allows us to expand the whole program."