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Onward and Upward: Drama and Ted Russell Center project takes shape

The first beam of several is set in place for Carson-Newman’s Drama and Ted Russell Center. Slated for completion by fall 2023, the new facility is the future home to the University’s nursing program. 

After months of anticipation, steel began reaching skyward at the Drama and Ted Russell Center construction site on Carson-Newman’s campus. With the help of an onsite crane, crews began setting columns for the University’s future health sciences building. 

“There has been much work thus far at the ground level in preparing a strong foundation,” University President Charles A. Fowler said, “but I cannot tell you how excited we are to see those beams go up. God is good. You can’t help but see that great things are on the horizon for Carson-Newman.” 

Ondes Webster, C-N’s director of Physical Plant and construction manager, says the erection begins on the south-front of the building and will work its way north to completion. “The building is a great design,” Webster said. “Its strong and durable construction will ensure that it lasts for many years.” 

Along with the arrival of beams, Webster added that all metal decking is now on site, as are the metal studs for the exterior walls. The future hub for C-N’s nursing program is becoming a reality. 

Located on North College Street and Branner Avenue, the Drama and Ted Russell Center will consist of three levels spanning 48,000 square feet. The state-of-the-art facility will include additional classroom space, simulation labs, health assessment labs and general skills labs. To enhance the student experience, the building will also feature a food service area, multiple student lounges, collaboration areas, as well as a covered outdoor terrace.  

The project is scheduled for completion in 2023. The Drama and Ted Russell Center is the first project launched as part of the University’s “Acorns to Oaks” 5-year strategic plan. The plan consists of new academic programs, expanded athletic offerings, new and renovated facilities, enrollment growth, and greater missional alignment. 

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