Lamar State College-Orange Unveils New Nursing and Classrooms Building
Lamar State College-Orange celebrated the completion of the new Nursing and Classroom Building with a ribbon cutting and open house on October 2, 2013. The two-story structure is a milestone for the Orange campus because it is the first building constructed specifically for instructional use. It features 32,000 square feet of space that includes a nursing simulation lab, two competency labs, general purpose classrooms, an eighty-seat lecture hall, and office space. The building will primarily serve the needs of the Licensed Vocational and Upward Mobility Nursing programs, but will also be available for other academic classes.
The ribbon cutting drew a large crowd of campus and community people. Shahan introduced representatives from PBK, the Houston architectural firm that designed the building and SpawGlass Construction, the general contractor for the project. Dr. Brian McCall, Chancellor of the Texas State University System, addressed the gathering and praised the campus for finishing the project on time and under budget. Shahan also introduced Keith Carter, the renowned photographer, whose art is featured in the building. LSC-O commissioned Carter to produce a portfolio of work featuring the Shangri-La Botanical Gardens. Carter used a wet-plate process to produce a stunning series of photographs that put a new face on the beauty of the gardens.
“This building is a great step forward for Lamar State College-Orange,” said Dr. Michael Shahan, president of LSC-O. “We tried to make sure instruction was the focus of this building, and we succeeded. It is a great addition to the campus and the Orange community.”
Gina Simar, director of the Allied Health Division of LSC-O, was equally pleased with the new, state-of-the-art facility. “When I started in the Vocational Nursing Program as a student here in 1983, it consisted of two hospital beds, two tables, and fifteen desks, and it was all in one room,” Simar said. “Look what we have now. This building is amazing and will serve Lamar State College-Orange for years to come.”
Ervin Thomas, resident of Port Arthur and first semester nursing student, decided to return to school and pursue a career which he had been interested in since childhood. “It’s a big, beautiful building. I learned in those first few days how amazing it was,” he explained. “It has everything in it we will need to know about, to learn and use as experience in a hospital setting. It has a medication room with a Pyxis machine to dispense medicine, and the skills lab with hospital beds and mannequins, which can be programmed to talk and with symptoms, makes for a very life-like situation.”
Ruth Mabry, resident of Lumberton has been a part of the nursing program since January. “Several of us heard rumors of a new building being built when we were accepted, but we didn’t know for sure until we got here and saw the construction,” Mabry said. “It’s immaculate, and the simulation lab is amazing. Having a facility will be a big benefit to Lamar State College-Orange and it will hopefully be a big boost to the nursing program once every one hears what the school has to offer.”