TJC recently unveiled plans for a new building to help facilitate the growth of the allied health and nursing programs. “Typically, we have 120 students that apply each semester, but we are only able to accept 44 due to the lack of space,” said Paul Monagan, Dean of Allied Health and Nursing.Nurses are in demand due to the growing shortage around the nation. According to the Texas Center for Nursing Workforce Studies, there is projected to be a need for 70,000 nurses by 2020. Thousands of students apply each and every year to enter the nursing and health programs offered at TJC. However, many are turned away due to the lack of space and faculty. On campus there are 750 allied health and nursing majors, but there are more potential majors who are on campus taking their general education courses until they are accepted into the programs.The main problem is space. There is just not enough of it. “It’s very cramped,” said sophomore paramedic student Jenny King.”Currently, we have four classes in the Pirtle Technology Building and in those classrooms we manage 200 students,” said Rebecca Seeton, department chair of Associate Degree Nursing. “We want to do more simulations but the rooms aren’t big enough,” said Seeton.With this new building, TJC will be able to offer more programs that will appeal to prospective majors. “We want to be competitive with other nursing programs,” said Monagan.With so many students, the health and nursing programs are at capacity. The new building will give these programs a chance to expand. “Each year, 500 students graduate from our programs. With the new building, we are expecting to increase that number to 730 each year with additional programs that would add to that number in the future,” said Monagan.According to a report submitted to trustees, the new building will be six stories tall and approximately 110,000 square feet. It will be located on the west side of campus near the medical community off South Fleishel Avenue between East Second and East Fifth Streets. The building will also contain storage space, bigger classrooms, updated technology, study areas, conference rooms, computer labs, offices, workrooms and training facilities.”This building has been in the works a long time,” said Monagan. “It’s a dream come true.”This building will also allow more students to be accepted into the programs, attract more prospective students, and will have more room to expand in the future.This new building is expected to be built as early Spring 2011, depending on the economy and if donors can be found. However, one thing is certain. The nursing program will continue to thrive.”We will continue to offer great programs that prepare professionals in their line of work,” said Monagan.