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Wesley College Poised to Enhance Nursing Program


Pictured left to right: Wesley College Dean of Enrollment Management Dr. Howard Ballentine, Vice President for Institutional Advancement Chris Wood, Dean of Students Dr. Colleen Di Raddo, Regional Director for U.S. Senator Thomas R. Carper Lori A. James, Wesley Board of Trustees member Dr. Rafael A. Zaragoza, U.S. General Services Administration Field Office Manager Thomas E. McGarry, Wesley College President Dr. William N. Johnston, U.S. General Services Administration Operations Manager Billy Stroumbaras, Wesley Nursing Department Chair Dr. Robert Contino, Wesley Board of Trustees member Gregory V. Moore, Wesley Physical Plant Director Rick Richardson, National Management Regional Manager James Tomlinson, and Wesley Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer Alan S. Russell, C.P.A.

Wesley College received the keys to the J. Allen Frear Federal Building on November 28 in a gathering including representatives from the U.S. General Services Administration, U.S. Senator Thomas R. Carper’s office, National Management Resources and Wesley College. The 36,000 square foot building located at 300 South New Street will be repurposed as an exemplary educational center dedicated to a vibrant nursing program and the expansion of health science related majors.

The J. Allen Frear Federal Building has gone through the U.S. General Services Administration Disposal Process and the deed was granted to Wesley College through a Department of Education Public Benefit Conveyance.  

“The collaboration and cooperation that has helped secure this building for Wesley College has been remarkable,” said Wesley College President Dr. William N. Johnston. “We are so grateful to our various partners in government, corporate and the private sector to make this opportunity for our students a reality.”

The new Health Sciences Building will be renovated to accommodate faculty offices as well as general classrooms and nursing skills labs updated with the latest technology to help prepare graduates for the work world. The Longwood Foundation and the Welfare Foundation both provided generous grants to assist with the renovation. In addition, a grant from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Delaware will provide an anatomically correct “manikin” known as a “Sim Man 3G,” technology infrastructure that includes wireless Internet, smart boards and other teaching aids in addition to security for the exterior of the building.

“Investment in the new Health Sciences Building is an important step in the right direction to address the documented shortage of nurses throughout the region,” said Senator Thomas R. Carper. “Wesley’s nursing graduate program has been recognized as one of the best in the area by U.S. News & World Report, ranked in the top 50, the highest ranking of any Delaware institution. The Frear building had few tenants, and I’m so glad to be able to make the connection between the federal government and Wesley College so this building could serve a good public purpose once again and save taxpayer dollars.”

The College plans to host an open house in January giving the community the opportunity to see the facility.