City of Richardson to consider special permit for private nursing college

Private nursing college West Coast University is hoping to open a campus in Richardson.

The City Planning Commission will consider a special permit for the university at its Sept. 3 meeting. If approved, the campus would open in the former Fossil headquarters at 2323 N. Central Expressway, which is on the east side of the highway and north of Fall Creek Drive. Planning commission documents state the university intends to purchase the 11.15-acre site currently owned by KDC and use the vacant 136,461-square-foot office building there .

KDC and West Coast University officials did not return several requests for comment.

A letter included with the application states, "West Coast University is excited to be thinking about how they can continue to offer focused healthcare degrees that make a difference and are excited to embrace the Richardson, Texas, community."

The permit application is being handled by design and architectural firm Gensler as well as KDC and commercial real estate services and investment firm CBRE, planning documents show.

Programs offered at the campus would allow students to pursue undergraduate, graduate and post-graduate health care degrees, the document stated. The projected initial enrollment is 925 students, with about 300 of those students located offsite in clinical rotations, according to the document. At full capacity, the school projects an enrollment of 1,500 students, with 500 of those students located offsite, the document stated.

Warren Caldwell, president of Canyon Creek Homeowners Association, said he met with a KDC representative about the project near his neighborhood. A post on his Facebook page said he was told the school would be relocating its Dallas campus to Richardson in order to be closer to the "preponderance of its student body."

Planning documents also include a copy of a letter to Canyon Creek and Prairie Creek homeowners from Duemand Edwards, executive director of the college's Dallas campus.

"While our current location has served us well, we now want to make an investment into our own building and in the Richardson community," he wrote. "This will allow us to have a permanent home and to develop site design and landscaping that will make our students, faculty and associates proud to call WCU their home."

He also stated in his letter that WCU students would be taking an active role in the community, volunteering at events and health fairs and partnering with high school students interested in nursing.

The WCU campus in Dallas is located at 8435 N. Stemmons Freeway. The university has five other campuses in Southern California and Miami, Florida.

According to the application, the use of the property as a college is expected to generate less traffic than the site did as an office building.

The planning commission meets at 7 p.m. Sept. 3 in council chambers at the Civic Center, 411 W. Arapaho Road.
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By Olivia Lueckemeyer

Olivia Lueckemeyer graduated in 2013 from Loyola University New Orleans with a degree in journalism. She joined Community Impact Newspaper in October 2016 as reporter for the Southwest Austin edition before her promotion to editor in March 2017. In July 2018 she returned home to the Dallas area and became editor of the Richardson edition.


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