Three Delaware colleges and universities will split $107 million in in American Rescue Plan Act money, the state announced Wednesday.
Of that, the University of Delaware will get $41 million; Delaware State University will get $33 million and Delaware Technical Community College will get $33 million.
UD plans to the $41 million to help build a state-of-the-art facility for education and research in understanding, treatment and prevention of diseases in Newark.
DSU plans to use its $33 million on a variety of projects: $7 million to establish a comprehensive clinical facility to combat health disparities, housed at the DSU Center for Health Disparities’ Molecular Diagnostics Laboratory in Dover; $10.6 million for the new DSU Early Care and Innovation Center, first announced in November; $7.4 million for technology upgrades in classrooms; and $2.5 million to improve existing facilities to meet pandemic operational needs.
DelTech will spend $15 million for the Allied Health Center of Excellence, which will be located at the George Campus in Wilmington, expanding opportunities for respiratory therapists, emergency medical technicians and the surgical technology program; $6.5 million to build a Childcare Center on the Stanton campus to serve infants to school-age children; for $1.5 million for a culinary workforce development grant.
The Federal American Rescue Plan passed in March is designed to help the country rebound from the COVID-19 pandemic. Delaware will receive $925 million from it, and its plans to spend it are details at de.gov/rescueplan.
“This support will help train new nurses, public health professionals and child care workers, facilitate a state-of-the-art laboratory at the University of Delaware, establish a center to study health disparities at Delaware State University and strengthen child care and health care programs at Delaware Technical Community College,: said Gov. John Carney in a press release.
UD’s facility for education and research in disease prevention will train the next generation of Delaware public health professionals, including mental health professionals, and help meet demand in the state’s health care workforce.
The facility is expected to be completed in mid-2024, at a projected total cost of approximately $165 million, with the balance of funds to be provided from university sources.
Graduates from the university’s clinical programs currently work at Christiana Care, Nemours, the Wilmington VA Medical Center, and the Delaware Department of Services for Children, Youth, and Their Families, among other health care settings.
“This interdisciplinary science building at the heart of the UD campus will catalyze cutting-edge research in the fields of human disease, developmental disorders, neuroscience and human behavior, and educate more than 1,000 students a year in those critical areas of healthcare need,” said UD President Dennis Assanis.
DSU and DelTech also will use the Rescue Plan funding to make HVAC upgrades.
“The challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic for higher education go far beyond testing, vaccination, and quarantine,” said Dr. Tony Allen, DSU president. “We are rethinking nearly every element of instruction and facilities management, and we are incredibly thankful to have partners like Gov. Carney who understand the critical nature of our mission and are willing to invest in helping us meet these challenges.”
“Gov. Carney has remained laser focused on strategically investing in capital projects that will benefit our students and Delaware’s employers statewide,” said Dr. Mark Brainard, president of Delaware Tech. “His support, along with our Congressional Delegation, has been critically important as we provide our students with the high-quality labs and classrooms they need to effectively fill high- quality jobs – especially during this healthcare crisis.”
Betsy Price is a Wilmington freelance writer who has 40 years of experience, including 15 at The News Journal in Delaware.
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