Miranda Prescott, News Editor
The Jacksonville State University Board of Trustees approved a $2.6 million purchase of the Brookstone Physician Center — located at the South campus — in their quarterly trustee meeting Tuesday.
The south campus is currently made up of the former Regional Medical Center, which has since been renovated to house the nursing and respiratory therapy programs.
“We are in process of renovating the south complex, and we use the second floor for part of the nursing and respiratory therapy labs,” said Jim Brigham, JSU’s senior vice president of finance and administration. “We are going to purchase the building and make it a part of the entire south complex to give the School of Health and Wellness more space.”
Brigham hopes that with this new space, the programs housed in the south complex will be allotted new classrooms and labs specifically tailored to them.
The purchase of the building was tabled last year in a Board of Trustees meeting, but has now been approved due to negotiation of the price down by $200,000. This will end the long term lease with the RMC, which Brigham said will be helpful for them.
“The RMC is going through some challenges right now just because of the COVID-19 pandemic and they are not in a position to help us anymore,” said Brigham. “Us owning the building will allow the RMC organization to release their obligations to us from the lease, which saves them about $1.5 million.”
Brigham said that no student tuition will be used in this purchase. Instead, the university will use a bond acquired in July from their lease agreement of the RMC.
In other business, the trustees:
— Approved a $2.6 million initial project management budget for the Randy Owens Performing Arts Center, which is set to be completed within three years of receiving a state grant of $15 million.
— Approved a $750,000 initial management project budget for the renovations of Wallace Hall, which was damaged in the EF-3 tornado in March 2018. The renovated building will be the new host to science classes and labs on campus.
— Renamed the Department of Drama to the Department of Theater and Film. This move, according to JSU Provost Christie Shelton, has been made to reflect everything the department offers within its course load.
— Discontinued the film technology certification, as the university now offers a film program.
— Introduced Greg Harley as the university’s attorney, representing JSU in higher education law.
— Received a check worth $56 million from the accumulation of the recent Capital Campaign, which began in 2013 and concluded in 2020.