LBCC Renovated Building for Nursing

Nursing students at Long Beach City College practice on a mannequin.

Nursing students have a new facility to learn the practice at Long Beach City College.

The school renovated Building C on its liberal arts campus and has opened for spring semester. With 23,250 square feet of space in the 45-year-old building, the college will be able to train as many as 240 students per semester, up from about 214.

It’s the first overhaul of the building, which houses one of the best nursing programs in the region, President/Superintendent Eloy Ortiz Oakley said.

“We renovated the building to put in some of the latest technology for students to get ready for the workforce,” Oakley said.

He added students had been using vintage 1970s medical devices.

“A lot has changed in healthcare,” Oakley said. “They couldn’t come back to the classroom and learn the same things they were in the field. We really needed to renovate for our students to compete in the marketplace.”

Construct One was the general contractor. Total building cost was $11.65 million from Measure E bonds, approved in 2002 for $176 million and again in 2008 for $440 million. The measure goes for new construction, renovation and repairs to modernize both of LBCC’s campuses — Pacific Coast and Liberal Arts. The college is in its eighth year of the $440 million construction modernization.

Some of the building’s highlights include its simulation labs, Oakley said, with a 1,336-square-foot simulation hospital, including three patient care rooms linked to a control room that allows for observation of students by faculty. The skills laboratory boasts 2,600 square feet, compared to its former 720, and now is divided into three rooms.

Lifelike mannequins are on hand for students to practice on — taking vital signs, insert intravenous lines and catheters.

“It really gives our students the opportunity to make mistakes and learn from their mistakes… It’s very specific technology,” Oakley said.

Classroom space also increased, from 5,424 to 6,748 feet. There are seven classrooms, five of which can contain 40 students and two with a 60-student capacity. All have modern audio-visual systems.

To help design the space in the renovation, officials said they visited Riverside City College, as well as Saddleback, Cerritos and Santa Ana colleges. The result is a combination of the best components and lessons learned from other colleges, Stacey Toda, spokeswoman for LBCC, said.

Besides being a modernized building, Oakley said the school wanted to encourage students to stay in Long Beach. He said LBCC has relationships with employers, such as Molina Healthcare, to expose students to job openings and vice-versa.

Oakley also said many students wanted to pursue their bachelor of science in nursing, so LBCC has transfer programs to California State University, Long Beach, and California State University, Los Angeles. LBCC offers registered and vocational nursing programs.

For more information, visit lbcc.edu.

Emily Thornton can be reached at ethornton@gazettes.com.

Emily is a staff writer covering higher education and other various topics for Gazette Newspapers. She has a background in weekly and daily newspapers and a bachelor’s in communication from La Sierra University.

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