Panola College in Carthage, Texas, officially cut the ribbon on a health and natural sciences building Monday.
It’s the first of two new buildings to open as part of a $35 million bond package passed by Panola County residents.
The 65,000 square-foot building designed by Corgan Associates of Dallas is mostly glass, according to Panola College president Gregory Powell. He says the nursing program’s six simulation labs have one-way mirrors so people walking the halls can have a clear view into the mock hospital rooms.
“We have mannequins in there that can talk to the students and breathe. We can insert IVs. We have a maternal mannequin that will actually give birth to a baby. We can have these mannequins have heart attacks,” Powell said.
Panola’s enrollment has almost doubled over the past 15 years to about 2,700 students. Powell says seven health sciences degree programs will be housed in the new building. Most notably, the two-year registered nursing program has an enrollment of about 120 students.
“We had not only outgrown the space we were in and were having to turn people away from programs, but we needed the technology upgrades that this building affords. I think this is a great time in the life of Panola College,” Powell said.
The ribbon cutting ceremony for the new Charles C. Matthews Foundation Student Center is set for Sept. 21.
The college is demolishing its old fitness center and student center. Those buildings are more than 60 years old, Powell says, and can’t be repurposed cost effectively. The campus also is erecting a clock tower.
Campus construction underway and newly completed totals $41 million.