OCC opens medical wing on Southfield campus

A $20-million health wing has opened on Oakland Community College’s Southfield campus, and it goes into operation as the school experiences triple digit enrollment growth in health-related studies.

The new campus facility – along with building changes and improvements – is an attempt to keep up with increasing demand for skilled health care workers.

The Southfield campus is the smallest of OCC’s five campuses, and it is the site of many of OCC’s health and science programs, including health care administration, nuclear medicine, various medical therapies, nursing, surgical technology and other health and medical specialties.

Many of the courses are taught in tandem with courses at the Royal Oak campus. With 78,000 undergraduates enrolled on OCC’s five campuses, it is Michigan’s largest community college system.

 The Southfield campus was designed for a capacity of 2,500 students, but in the winter of 2012 there were 4,912 students attending. The new wing adds more than 69,000 square feet to the Southfield campus, or an increase of 75 percent.

Ground for the new health sciences wing was broken in 2009, and in that time enrollment soared college wide, most especially in health studies at Southfield and Royal Oak. In the area of allied health, there has been 131 percent increase in enrollment during the past 10 years.

“These are exciting yet challenging times for the college [as] we continue to keep our promise to provide learning for all who enter our doors.  We are committed to maintaining an institution that serves the future of the community and also aids the economic recovery of our region.  The Southfield Campus expansion is a large step in this direction,” OCC chancellor Timothy Meyer says in a statement announcing the opening.

The health wing, a $20 million project originally priced at more than $25 – was mostly paid for by a millage approved by Oakland County voters in 2010.

Aspects of the new wing include additional biology, chemistry, anatomy and physiology labs, bringing the campus total to eight, a surgical technology lecture lab, where surgery is replicated. There are also new double classrooms, nursing labs and new rooms for studying as well as a new student activities center, physical education classes and workforce development workspaces where students can learn about internship, co-op ed programs and other workplace opportunities.

Source: Selvia Hines, administrative assistant, marketing and communications department, Oakland Community College
Writer: Kim North Shine