Clarksville, TN – Major changes are coming to Austin Peay State University (APSU) with the addition of a 114,600-square-foot, three-story Health Professions Building on Eighth Street and the creation of the state’s first Institute for National Security and Military Studies.
On Thursday, April 29th, 2021, the Tennessee General Assembly approved funding for both projects as part of the state’s 2021-2022 annual budget.
“I’m so pleased the Tennessee General Assembly is generously supporting the important work we do at Austin Peay by providing funding for these transformative projects,” APSU President Michael Licari said.
“We especially appreciate the leadership of Deputy Speaker Curtis Johnson and Senator Bill Powers and the strong support of Representatives Jason Hodges and Jay Reedy,” stated Lacari.
Health Professions Building
Thursday’s announcement on the new Health Professions Building paves the way for the University to consolidate its growing healthcare-related programs – nursing, allied health sciences, health and human performance, psychological science and counseling, and social work – under one roof.
“This new facility will not only transform our campus – both physically and academically – it will improve public health for our neighbors, friends, and family,” Licari said. “Students will collaborate with others in different fields, making them better healthcare professionals, and the building will provide important public clinical space to serve different populations, including veterans and low-income citizens.”
The building will also feature research labs, active learning classrooms, and collaborative learning spaces. The design phase is expected to begin this fall, with construction starting in 2022. The building is projected to open before the fall 2024 semester.
“We are so grateful for the support from the Tennessee General Assembly and look forward to educating and training our students in this state-of-the-art facility,” Dr. Tucker Brown, dean of the APSU College of Behavioral and Health Sciences, said. “The Health Professions Building furthers our mission and expands our ability to foster improved health outcomes in the region and beyond. This is truly a game-changer for Austin Peay.”
The state required the University to raise $1.28 million to consider approval of the project. In November 2020, the Clarksville-Montgomery County Community Health Foundation (CMCCHF) committed $3 million to the Austin Peay State University Foundation to establish the CMC Community Health Foundation Equipment & Building Fund.
Over the last year, the COVID-19 pandemic has reinforced how critical healthcare professionals are to the safety of a community. Austin Peay graduates will become front-line workers, using the experience they gained on campus, administering COVID-19 Coronavirus tests and Moderna vaccines, to keep area citizens healthy.
Institute for National Security and Military Studies
State legislators also agreed to fund the state’s first Institute for National Security and Military Studies at the University.
“Austin Peay, with its proximity to the Fort Campbell Army Post, is the state’s leading provider of higher education to military-affiliated students, and we’re not only proud of this fact – we take it very seriously,” Licari said. “This institute will allow us to provide exemplary and unprecedented levels of educational and professional programs not only to these students but also to other individuals who are interested in advancing their careers in national security.”
The Institute will oversee three areas of focus:
- Educational programs (both credit and noncredit).
- Military outreach activities.
- Interdisciplinary research on national security, intelligence, and military life.
Austin Peay State University, through the many services and programs it provides, has developed a strong reputation for serving military-affiliated students over the years. It was the first university to have built a free-standing building on the U.S. Army post, in addition to having a presence in the Army Education Center, and earlier this year, Austin Peay State University opened the Newton Military Family Resource Center to provide seamless support to military-affiliated students, from applying for admission to securing employment after graduation.
Last fall, Austin Peay State University began offering a Doctorate of Psychology (Psy.D.) in Counseling Psychology program – the second doctoral degree program in the University’s history – with a concentration in serving military personnel, veterans, and their families. Next fall, the APSU Department of Criminal Justice will offer a new Master of Science in Criminal Justice degree, with an optional concentration in Homeland Security. That will be the only master’s program in Tennessee with a concentration in Homeland Security.
For more information on how Austin Peay State University serves the military community, visit www.apsu.edu/military.
During the session, the Tennessee General Assembly also approved a $3.2 million roof replacement for the Sundquist Science Complex and a $1.5 million exhaust system controls replacement for that building.