Voters across the state will head to the polls on Tuesday, but the presidential primary isn’t the only thing on the ballot. They’ll also decide the fate of the Connect NC Bond, which, if passed, would bring a new nursing and STEM instructional building to UNCG’s campus.

The building will leverage the state’s $105 million capital bond investment for modern labs and classroom construction to address immediate space shortages, as well as accommodate strategic anticipated growth in response to clear demand from students, employers and the needs of the state.

The School of Nursing and STEM instruction building will provide an innovative hands-on educational space that simulates contemporary “real world” clinical and lab settings using flexible design that can adapt to the rapid pace of change in high-impact academic programs, while also eliminating a longstanding renovation cost by replacing the outdated 1950s-era McIver Building in the existing footprint.

“The School of Nursing’s enrollment is at capacity due to space constraints, and UNCG turns away qualified nursing applicants each year despite the fact that Cone Health states that they could hire 100 or more additional new nurses each year,” said UNCG Chancellor Franklin Gilliam Jr.

In addition, UNCG’s science labs are operating well above capacity, which negatively impacts science majors, as well as students in nursing and health and human sciences (HHS) programs that rely on the same general science course sections as part of the core curriculum.

“When we can’t offer enough course sections in biology, chemistry, anatomy and physiology, the pipeline into and out of degree programs slows down causing financial and timing disruption for students and potential employers,” Gilliam added.

“The impact will be far-reaching, affecting students, employers, UNCG’s academics and the state of North Carolina,” Gilliam said.

The new building addresses current capacity constraints that affect students in the Biology and Chemistry Departments, the School of Nursing and the School of Health and Human Sciences to aid timely progress to degree and lower cost burden on students.

Employers in North Carolina will benefit from a steady pipeline of highly qualified and prepared graduates in high need fields, as well as with research opportunities in novel drug lead discovery and clinical outcome enhancements at the undergraduate and graduate levels, which translate readily into new employment.

“Since 75 percent of UNCG graduates historically stay in-state, North Carolina will directly benefit from the best-trained UNCG nurses, scientists and health professionals that seek solutions for the needs of the state and care for our citizens and families every day,” Gilliam added.

The Connect NC Bond is on the March 15 ballot, and would bring more than $200 million to higher education in the

Greensboro-area alone, including $105 million for UNCG, $90 million for North Carolina A&T University and $9.5 million for Guilford Technical Community College. These three institutions have a legacy commitment to collaboration and sharing public resources for maximum student and community impact. The combined investment in health, STEM and critical infrastructure needs on our campuses will continue delivering economic returns for taxpayers in our region and across the state for years to come.

For more information about the Connect NC Bond and the other projects it would fund across the state, visit http://connect.nc.gov/.