(KETK) - Kilgore, Tx — For ten years, the laird memorial hospital in Kilgore has been closed, but work is currently underway to turn it into a functional facility for the Kilgore College health sciences department.
"It's a really big deal for us, because it will be the first time that all four programs will be under the same roof," said Louise Wiley, Dean of Health Sciences.
30,000 square feet will be available to the college, and it will cost 1.5 million dollars to renovate the old building, opposed to nearly $10 million to build a brand new facility.
"The best thing I think about this facility for the health science programs will be that it will be able to mimic and be very similar to the clinical labs," said Wiley.
The need for health related professions is on the rise, whether it be nursing, physical therapists, radiologists, and others.
This renovation will not only allow for more hands on training, but also allow for more students to sign up.
"It's a very big deal to be in the community to educate the students and to provide employment for the community," said Wiley.
Along with saving money and providing a larger and more comprehensive education for students, it also ensures a piece of Kilgore's history will not only have new life breathed back into it's walls, but will continue to do what it was built for.
"I think it's fantastic for the city of Kilgore, because a beautiful, old, historical building, and it would be just a shame for it to go to waste," said Wiley.
The project is planned to be finished before August 25th, and ready for this year's incoming class of students.