For Immediate Release
June 14, 2021
Paul F. Jean
Vice President for Marketing & Communications
Bridgewater State University Secures $39.1M to Expand
Education & Health Sciences Offerings and Enrollments
State Funding to Renovate Burnell Hall Serves Critical Workforce Needs for
Health Care Professionals and Teachers
Governor Charlie Baker announced on Monday that the state is investing $25 million for the renovation of Bridgewater State University’s Burnell Hall for the College of Education and Health Sciences (CEHS). BSU has committed $14.1 million toward the project for a total cost of $39.1 million.
The project represents the most significant building renovation project in the last half-century at BSU, a transformative investment that will serve critical workforce needs, support innovative program delivery and the advanced use of technology, and promote student success.
In total, the Baker administration is investing $87 million in state funding across five projects at state colleges and universities. As they kick off, the commonwealth will invest $1.3 million for planning and design in FY’22 through this capital plan.
“We are extraordinarily grateful to Governor Baker and Secretary Peyser for their support of Bridgewater State University,” said Bridgewater State University President Frederick W. Clark Jr., Esq. “This substantial capital funding underscores the critical need to invest in innovative and technologically sophisticated programs that educate the next generation of education and health care professionals. The importance of this project, the proposal for which was submitted in 2019, was magnified by the pandemic, as the renovation will further enhance the use of advanced technology by our students in teaching and health care delivery.”
This project will enable BSU to expand enrollment in its CEHS by nearly 10 percent in high growth fields of education and health care.
As the education hub of Massachusetts, graduating more teachers and science and mathematics teachers than any university in the state, the Burnell renovation will address critical workforce needs, including a projected nationwide shortage of 200,000 teachers by 2025.
The Burnell Hall project will also create space on campus for in-demand health science programs. Health care represents the largest sector of the state economy. In Southeastern Massachusetts, demand for health care professionals is increasing dramatically: over the next decade, there is projected growth of 25 percent for physical therapists, 28 percent for physical therapist assistants, 27 percent for occupational therapist assistants, and 16 percent for public health professionals – all positions for which BSU is training students.
The renovation will create dynamic and collaborative learning spaces that contribute to success for all students. CEHS is a national leader in leveraging the latest technology (tablets, drones, avatars, online delivery) to advance learning, to improve K-12 learning environments and enhance the health care delivery in clinical settings.
The project, which will be undertaken in phases, is expected to be completed in approximately four years. It will rationalize the use of space throughout the entire campus for decades to come and, in the process, save nearly $27 million in deferred maintenance and actually reduce BSU’s building inventory.
Bridgewater State University’s College of Education and Health Sciences (CEHS) offers 35 academic programs serving more than 4,000 students. As the state’s tenth largest university with more than 10,000 students, Bridgewater State University offers more than 100 areas of study at the undergraduate and graduate levels, is recognized as one of the best universities in the nation for outstanding undergraduate research offerings, and one of the top Fulbright-producing institutions in the country. In 2020, BSU was ranked among Money's Best Colleges. While founded as a teacher preparation college, Bridgewater is pioneering new, leading-edge programs in photonics and optical engineering and cybersecurity.