WKU students, faculty, administration and Bowling Green residents alike were jam-packed inside The Medical Center-WKU Health Sciences Complex on Thursday morning to attend the building's dedication ceremony.

The Medical Center-WKU Health Sciences Complex is located on 700 First Avenue and contains Physical Therapy Classrooms, Research and Exercise labs, as well as a cadaver lab that holds 8 cadavers.

Connie Smith, chief executive officer and president of the Commonwealth Health Corporation, a nonprofit healthcare corporation based in Southcentral Kentucky, thanked several individuals for their involvement in the creation of the Complex.

“This facility is the product of many years of discussion, planning, and hard work,” Smith said. “It is rewarding to see such an important project become a reality.”

The Commonwealth Health Corporation is the parent company of the Medical Center, a nonprofit healthcare organization that assisted WKU in creating the Health Sciences Complex.

Smith said the new building will benefit the Bowling Green community and region by providing highly educated healthcare professionals.

“We've come a long way in the 30 years since I finished nursing school at WKU,” Smith said. “This beautiful building wants to make me start nursing all over again.”

WKU will lease the facility from the Medical Center for 25 years. The income will be used towards debt services and operating expenses.

President Gary Ransdell said that the building will allow WKU to double the number nursing students WKU accepts every year.

“The impact that will have on healthcare across our entire region, especially the Medical Center, is just profound.” Ransdell said.

The building will also house Bachelors, Masters, and doctorate degree programs in the School of Nursing while providing an auditorium and bed labs for clinical training for The Medical Center.

John Bonaguro, dean of the College of Health and Human Services, said that the building is about sharing a vision and working together as a community.

“It’s about excellence and preparing our students,” Bonagruo said. “They’re our mission.”

Franklin senior DeAnn Wright said that she’s excited for the building.

“I’ve waited for this since I was a freshman,” Wright said. “I’m really honored to be the first graduating class out of this building.”