Donations help UNA make new School of Nursing facility a reality

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FLORENCE, Ala. (WHNT) - Leadership at the University of North Alabama has made the decision to demolish an outdated building to make room for another.

The Floyd Hall science building has stood on the University of North Alabama campus for more than 50 years.  The building has mostly been vacant since a new science building went up across campus.  There were plans to renovate it for other educational uses, but when architects and engineers started looking at Floyd Hall, it was apparent there were significant structural issues.

“At that point we made a strategic decision that it would be unwise to put a lot of money into renovating a building that probably wouldn’t last as long as we needed it to last,” explained University President Ken Kitts.

So after the fall semester, President Kitts has plans to tear it down to make room for a new School of Nursing.

According to Kitts, state legislators were able to secure partial funding for the new building.  But it was the large donations by several private contributors who made the nursing building a reality so quickly.  Kitts said the university couldn't operate without that financial help.

“State funding as you know has been cut back and it’s probably not going to come back as it existed 20 years ago,” stated Kitts. “And so universities have to become more creative in seeking external dollars period.”

And according to university leaders they will most likely not have to borrow any portion of the estimated $9 million to build the new facility.

President Kitts said the UNA Board of Trustees must sign off on the new plans in the quarterly meeting scheduled for September 9, but he said he feels pretty confident a motion will be approved by the board.