Gannon University: Gannon Dedicates New Floor of Academic Building at Ruskin Campus

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More than 100 Gannon and Ruskin community members came together to recognize the culmination of the second phase of construction on the academic building, which has expanded the campus’ practical application and training opportunities, hands-on learning environments as well as amenities that enhance the student and employees’ experiences and provide meaningful resources to the Ruskin and surrounding communities.


“The hard work of our faculty and staff, and the success of our students has positioned Gannon as a leader in health care education that is recognized for innovation in treatment and delivery of care, but also in developing a strong network of practitioners worldwide who are well-rounded professionals making a difference in the lives of their patients every day,” said Gannon University President Keith Taylor, Ph.D.

“Our Ruskin Campus has quickly become integral to Gannon’s infrastructure in this way, and I am confident that the opening of this floor will only enrich the impact that our programs, students and faculty will have going forward.”
Gannon’s $3.9 million investment into the development of this floor has furnished it with industry-grade technology and equipment within four classrooms and laboratories, including an Anatomy Lab, Rehabilitation Sciences Lab and a Medical Exam Teaching Lab, which will be used for pediatric and neurorehabilitation.

Take a tour of the new space here.
A Patient Simulation Center is a highlight of this floor that will build upon the success of the Center located on Gannon’s Erie Campus and create cross-disciplinary learning opportunities and resources for the Ruskin community. It is equipped with four high-fidelity patient simulators.

A new lecture hall with seating for up to 130 people creates the opportunity for large format courses, as well as a variety of on-campus events that will bring the Gannon and Ruskin communities together to share in professional and personal development and educational engagements.

The Student Learning Commons was designed to enhance both in-person and online educational experiences with features including an open quiet space for studying and individual student project rooms for collaboration and group work.

In addition to the educational spaces on this floor, there are amenities promoting comprehensive well-being. The Interfaith and Meditation Space provides an inclusive environment for those of all faith backgrounds for prayer, reflection, meditation, or simply quiet contemplation.

The convenience of on-campus dining will also be served on this floor with the opening of knightBITES, a fresh café, which features healthy food and drink options to-go, to enjoy outside on the patio or in the welcoming gathering area that connects all these spaces together.

“Today’s celebration is symbolic of the significant milestones we have achieved, and the milestones we aspire to achieve moving forward as we seek to serve and have a meaningful impact in the communities in which we live and work,” said Sarah Ewing, Ph.D., dean of the Morosky College of Health Professions and Sciences.
“This floor is a continuation of our visionary plan to deliver practical and hands-on learning environments that educate students to become highly skilled professionals who meet the evolving needs of today’s health care industry.”

Gannon began its expansion into Ruskin in 2014 and has since purchased and then fully renovated its first academic building, developed a new parking lot, and built its second academic building.

The second academic building was formally dedicated in August 2019. The university has invested about $20 million on the 80,000-square-foot building with the intention to support the growth in program offerings, student enrollment and employees. The university opened the first two floors for the fall 2019 semester, which includes classrooms, laboratories, faculty offices and amenities such as a fitness center and a common student gathering area.

“We believed then and believe now that we have been called to serve in Ruskin and that this has been a great fit for Gannon and our Mission,” Taylor said. “In this relatively short period of time, we have already educated hundreds of exceptional health care professionals and created an economic impact of nearly $18 million last year alone through employment, investments in the community, service and more.”

Today, Gannon’s Ruskin Campus enrolls 300 students, employs 36 faculty and staff, and offers eight programs, including a Doctor of Physical Therapy, Family Nurse Practitioner, Doctor of Nursing Practice, Occupational Therapy Doctorate, Post-Professional Occupational Therapy Doctorate, Master of Physician Assistant Science, Speech-Language Pathology and Master of Healthcare Administration. The university is anticipating expanding its program offerings beyond the health care field in 2023.

“Our journey to today has been filled with purpose to best serve our students and employees and the Florida regional community,” Ewing said. “Our success and recent recognition as Best of the Best Graduate Schools by Tampa Bay Times has built upon the momentum we’ve established as a leader in health care education creating an elite network of professionals who are knowledgeable, innovative and socially responsible within their careers and communities.”

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