Loan enables Pfeiffer to proceed with Albemarle plans

Published 10:46 am Thursday, September 27, 2018

The United States Department of Agriculture has approved Pfeiffer University’s application for a USDA Rural Development Community Facilities Direct Loan. Amounting to $34.5 million, the loan will allow Pfeiffer University to begin and secure several specific initiatives, including contracts for its new Albemarle campus.

Dubbed the Pfeiffer University Health Science center, the state-of-the-art facility planned there will be home to the graduate Physician Assistant Studies program and the Occupational Therapy program. Once construction is complete, the Pfeiffer University Health Science Center will also provide an additional resource for affordable health care in the area.

The loan will also provide for improvements to Pfeiffer’s other healthcare education improvements, such as completing renovations to the Harris Science Building. These renovations will allow for the expansion of the Bachelor of Science in Nursing program. The reconfiguration of classroom space will be able to accommodate an additional ten nursing students.

Other planned renovations will take place in Goode Hall which was closed in 2010 due to the accumulation of deferred maintenance. With the reopening of Goode Hall, academic support services such as tutoring and career services can be moved to a single location improving student services. Renovations to classrooms and the art gallery in Goode Hall will provide additional academic and multiuse space. Plans to add elevators to Goode Hall and the Administration building are also in place.

The approval of the USDA loan — which Pfeiffer began applying for in Fall 2016 — also allows Pfeiffer University to consolidate and pay off the current institutional debt incurred by previous renovations. Pfeiffer University President Dr. Colleen Perry Keith says that it is an exciting time for Pfeiffer University but the approval of the USDA loan is only the beginning for creating long-term sustainable growth.

“Much of our day-to-day business will remain the same,” Keith said. “We will, however, be able to move ahead with programs and facility improvements that help our overall position: better space for teaching and learning, additional revenue, and student and employee satisfaction.”

Pfeiffer University officials state that projects are expected to begin as early as December 2018 in Albemarle and the Spring of 2019 on the Misenheimer campus.