University of Arizona to bring nursing program to Gilbert’s University Building

The University Building in the Heritage District has opened its doors to students from Park University and the University of Arizona.

The University Building in the Heritage District has opened its doors to students from Park University and the University of Arizona.

The University of Arizona will offer a nursing degree program of study in Gilbert beginning next fall if Town Council on Feb. 7 approves a lease of the University Building.

The program would be a Bachelor's of Science in nursing, or BSN, degree. The university would take residence on the third floor of the University Building, 92 W. Vaughn Ave., in downtown Gilbert.

Park University, which opened to students in October, occupies the first floor of the building. UA already had a presence in the building with coding boot camps it has run since May 2017.

Classes for the nursing program would begin in the fall.

The University Building has infrastructure in place to accommodate a nursing program. Jeff Ehrlich, Park Gilbert Campus executive director, said the space should be "virtually turn-key" for UA's nursing program to use.

The lease calls for UA to occupy 15,448 square feet of improved rentable space and provides an additional 2,218 square feet of unimproved shell space for administrative, nursing simulation and classroom space.

Gilbert officials have frequently acknowledged a town focus on gaining more higher education opportunities for residents to help develop an attractive work force and bring more businesses to town. The University Building was built for that purpose, officials said.

UA projects 216 students by the third year of the program, according to town documents.

The lease, which lasts for three years and seven months, will cost UA just more than $1.7 million. The university also will play a security deposit of nearly $81,000. The lease also contains three one-year extension options.

The rate on the lease is $30 per square foot on the improved area and $9.73 per square foot on the unimproved area.

By Tom Blodgett
Raised in Arizona, Tom Blodgett has spent 30 years in journalism in Arizona and is the editor of the Gilbert edition of Community Impact Newspaper. He is a graduate of Arizona State University, where he now serves as an instructional professional in the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication and editorial adviser to The State Press, the university's independent student media outlet.


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