Sandhills Community College held a special event Tuesday evening on the patio of Dempsey Student Center. A dedication was made, voters thanked, and the Sandhills Community College Foundation’s Capital Campaign was announced.
The tennis courts at the college were dedicated as The Phelps Family Tennis Courts. Dick and Sally Phelps have been longtime friends of the College.
The voters of Moore County were thanked for their support of the College’s bond issues.
“The passage of the bond issue means that Sandhills will be able to update healthcare education facilities and create a Nursing Education Center that will enable us to do an even better job of training healthcare professionals for our community,” said President John Dempsey. “This future construction will be one of the most significant additions that has been made to this college in its fifty-five year history.”
The announcement of the Sandhills Community College Foundation’s Capital Campaign was made. For the first time in over twenty years the College will be engaged in a concerted effort to raise funds to support the students and the programs of the college.
The goal of the effort is to raise $10 million – $7 million of which has already been raised from the Sandhills Community College Foundation Board and the college’s Board of Trustees. Len and Rita DiNapoli were thanked for leading the way in supporting state-of-the-art technology for healthcare training.
The campaign is focused on improving nursing education, ensure Sandhills Promise scholarships are available, and to create a Performing Arts Center at the college.
Improving Nursing Education
With technology, there has been a fundamental shift in the way that nurses are trained. The nursing lab setting began to evolve and incorporate simulation learning experiences to better instruct students.
All nursing students still have clinical experiences in real healthcare environments, however simulation exercises are often the only opportunity students have to actually be “hands on” in a crisis. Studies show simulation experiences make students better prepared for their careers than hospital-based clinical experiences alone.
While simulations are valuable for students, the technology required to run simulations is expensive, and once acquired it requires ongoing investments to maintain. Over half of the college’s current patient simulators are over seven years old and are beginning to show signs of wear and tear through regular use.
Although the new building made possible through the recently passed Moore County bond helps to solve the issue of having adequate space, there is not enough state funding available to meet the ongoing needs to replace aging equipment and to add new equipment in the labs.
The Sandhills Community College Foundation’s Capital Campaign is set to raise funds to equip the new Nursing Education facility with a state-of-the-art “Simulation Center” to make sure those graduating from the college are trained using the best equipment available from a top-notch faculty.
Keeping the Promise
The Sandhills Promise is a program that allows students at area high schools who successfully take four college courses at Sandhills Community College to be eligible, immediately upon graduation from high school, for a full-tuition two year in-state scholarship at the College.
Students who take advantage of the Sandhills Promise can pursue a two-year degree debt-free. Otherwise many of these students—among Moore and Hoke counties’ best and brightest—fall into a gap. Their parents don’t have the resources to pay for college without financial hardship and extensive borrowing, but they make too much money to receive federal Pell grants and other similar financial assistance.
This school year, the College celebrated over 170 Moore County and Hoke County high school graduates from the class of 2017 that qualified for the new Sandhills Promise and began their college careers at Sandhills.
The Sandhills Community College Foundation’s Capital Campaign will raise funds to “Keep the Promise,” ultimately contributing to students’ successful futures, improving the financial well-being of their families, and ensuring the community sustains a well-trained workforce.
The Bradshaw Performing Arts Center
Since its construction nearly 30 years ago, tens of thousands of people have attended performances in Owens Auditorium each year. The college is using proceeds from a 2016 statewide bond referendum to begin renovations to the auditorium. The improvements will provide new and improved acoustics, lighting, seating, remodeled dressing rooms and restrooms, and state-of-the-art performance technology.
Sandhills has chosen to build upon this opportunity to create a true Performing Arts Center for the community. Generous commitments already made to the Sandhills Community College Foundation’s Capital Campaign will be used to create The Bradshaw Performing Arts Center, named for Stan and Jean Bradshaw, providing several uniquely enjoyable venues for cultural enrichment for the college and the community.
A dramatic new façade will be added to Owens Auditorium to improve the entrance, the marquee will be improved, and several new performance venues will be added on the campus.
The McPherson Theater, a black box theater named for Tom and Kathy McPherson, will be constructed adjacent to the auditorium in Wellard Hall. This will create a flexible and simple space available for instruction, rehearsals, and smaller performances.
An intimate outdoor performance area, Evelyn’s Courtyard, dedicated by Jon and Jackie Giles, will be created in the existing auditorium courtyard transforming it into a useful space for small performances and outdoor receptions.
Improvements will also be made to the outdoor performance venue in front of the Boyd Library to create The McNeill-Woodward Green, honoring Larry and Mary Margaret McNeill. This will be used for larger concerts and the college’s annual commencement ceremony.