McCann Tech scrubs plans for new nursing program building


NORTH ADAMS -- The Charles H. McCann Technical School has scrapped plans for a new building on campus after bids on the project came in too high, according to Northern Berkshire Vocational Regional School District Superintendent James Brosnan.

The school had won Planning Board approval Monday to erect a new 2,700-square-foot building to house its practical nursing program, but will now look elsewhere after bids opened on Wednesday were in excess of $700,000, he said.

"It's financially not feasible," Brosnan told The Eagle on Thursday.

The school, which is located on Hodges Cross Road, lost the space it used for its practical nursing program when North Adams Regional Hospital closed March 28. The school administration began to pursue alternative sites for the program shortly after the hospital closed, he said.

The new building was planned to include a classroom, two faculty offices, two bathrooms and two laboratories.

With the plans for the building dropped, the district will have to find a new home for the program before the next session begins in January 2015. The program's current students had already completed their lab coursework before the hospital closed in March and are now using classrooms at the school.

Brosnan said there is "sufficient time" to find the nursing program a suitable space before January.

In December 2013, the practical nursing program graduated 23 students -- the largest class in the program's history. It averages about 20 students, according to Brosnan, many of whom work while attending the post-secondary program, which reopened in 2007 after a 20-year hiatus.

The practical nursing building, a 30-by-90 foot one-level space, would have been placed in front of the current gymnasium at the northeastern corner of the building.

McCann's accredited practical nursing program -- three terms spread over 10 months -- includes more than 500 hours of clinical experience and gives graduating students the ability to take the National Counsel Licensing Examination for Practical Nurses. Students who pass the test become a licensed practical nurse.


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