Nov. 5 – BLUEFIELD – Governor Jim Justice not only handed over money to the city of Bluefield for a gas line earlier this week, he also presented Bluefield State University with a previously approved grant.
BSU President Robin Capehart said the $2.5 million grant “will contribute to our ability to expand housing and new academic programs at the Medical Education Center and begin the process of revitalizing our student union.” “.
About $500,000 will be used for student union upgrades, he said, and $2 million for other renovations at the Medical Education Center (formerly Bluefield Regional Medical Center).
“It will be used to build classrooms,” he said.
Twenty additional beds for students will also be added.
The university uses the facility for its health sciences program after it was acquired from Princeton Community Hospital in late 2020 for $1.
BRMC was purchased by PCH in 2019, then all inpatient services were discontinued in 2020, but PCH maintains PCH Bluefield’s emergency department at the facility, with BSU using the remainder.
BRMC’s financial difficulties, exacerbated by the pandemic, prompted the sale.
After BSU’s purchase, renovations began, resulting in the school‘s first on-campus housing since 1968.
As of July 2021, over 150 beds have been filled, and the old hospital’s cafeteria continues to be used for students, as well as the public.
Earlier this year, BSU received $300,000 in community project funding to redevelop space at the center for community clinics.
Capehart said at the time that BSU, as HBCU (Historically Black Colleges and Universities), intended to address “minority health disparities in this region by providing free health services to the community “.
“These services will include administration of vaccines, mammograms, blood pressure checks, glucose screenings and health fairs,” he said.
The Medical Education Center space allows the university to expand the offering of health science degrees in response to in-demand jobs.
— Contact Charles Boothe at [email protected]
Contact Charles Boothe at [email protected]