Because of that growing relationship and in recognition of CRMC’s continued support of TTU, President Bob Bell recently presented a plaque of appreciation to the hospital’s board of trustees.
“The university is fortunate to have Cookeville Regional Medical Center as both a neighbor and a supporter,” Bell said.
“The hospital’s work and support during our recent effort to raise funds for a new School of Nursing building contributed significantly to the success of that campaign,” he continued. “Throughout the span of our coming construction project — and for many years to come — I hope to see this positive relationship continue to grow.”
When TTU kicked off its campaign in June 2004 to raise $21 million for a new School of Nursing building, CRMC recognized the immediate need for the project and pledged $500,000 toward the effort.
According to hospital officials, about half of all the registered nurses currently working at CRMC are graduates of TTU’s nursing program.
When construction is complete on the new facility — the first to be built specifically for that program of study — it could nearly triple the number of TTU nursing graduates and increase the number of qualified potential job candidates at CRMC and throughout the Upper Cumberland.
It will also make TTU and CRMC closer neighbors geographically. That’s because the university has chosen the block at the far end of the campus’s Main Quad, on the corner of 7th Street and North Mahler where the old Smith Quad residence hall complex formerly stood, as the location for the new facility.
The corner will eventually serve as an anchor, linking TTU’s School of Nursing with a major entrance to the area Cookeville planning officials have designated as the city’s medical district.
Adequate funding for the construction of the new building was secured this past June, when the Tennessee Legislature approved a $26 billion state budget that included an allocation of $15.4 million for the project.
The university could possibly begin accepting bids from potential contractors as soon as early next year, ground could potentially be broken as early as next April, and the project could possibly be completed as quickly as 18 months following the groundbreaking.