July 5, 2022
MDS volunteers help Goshen College expand space for nursing program—join them!
Out with the old, in with the new! People in the Goshen, Indiana region are invited to join Mennonite Disaster Service (MDS) volunteers as they do some demolition work at Goshen College.
in response to a growing demand for nurses, the college is expanding its nursing facilities from 6,000 square feet of offices, classrooms, and simulation labs to 18,000 square feet of teaching space dedicated to the sciences.
The additional space is coming from repurposing the second and third floors of a building called “Westlawn,” where the college’s dining hall is located on the first floor. The second and third floors were previously residence halls but have served only as storage space since 1995.
Local MDS volunteers and Goshen College students and alumni are demolishing the interior of Westlawn—removing the ceiling on two floors and knocking down cinder block walls.
Goshen College’s nursing program typically has 80-100 students enrolled during the academic year, explained Ben Bontrager, vice president for operations.
“The undergrad program takes on 20 or so students in each class,” he said. “We would love to double the size of this program to both match the growing interest in the degree as well as meet the demand of local health systems for additional nurses in the workforce.”
Goshen College’s current nursing program lives in a footprint of roughly 6,000 square feet, he added.
“It’s a small space in which they’ve gone to great lengths to creatively accommodate a growing student population,” he said. “The renovation will create almost three times the amount of space for the program to accommodate growth.”
The renovation will create almost three times the amount of space for the program to accommodate growth
— Ben Bontrager, VP for Operations, Goshen College
The project will also involve enlarging classrooms, adding new technology and creating simulation suites to enhance the education experience for students.
A growing partnership
MDS and Goshen College are exploring opportunities for working together in the future, said Bontrager.
“We love that some MDS volunteers are getting an opportunity to see and experience our campus and community for the first time through this project,” he said. “As well, we’ve enjoyed the interactions with volunteer groups.”
Further down the road, Bontrager said he’d like to continue a conversation with MDS to look at partnering within a shared facility as Goshen considers constructing a new building to house its physical plant services.
“We have had several MDS volunteer groups serve on the Westlawn project in the last two weeks,” he said. “They have done incredible work! We are so grateful for their contributions to our nursing program.”
Interested in volunteering? Call Manass Hochstetler at 574-370-3564, or email here.