ESSEX — The last steel beam was placed on a new building in a dramatic fashion at the Community College of Baltimore County at Essex last week. The new $63 million, four-story, 120,000 square foot state-of-the-art Carol D. Eustis Center for Health Professions is halfway to completion at CCBC Essex, and was topped off in a ceremonial showcase to celebrate the construction milestone.

The last steel beam on the long-awaited project was painted white and signed by construction officials and CCBC representatives before being placed by a crane while onlookers heard dramatic classical music.

“Construction projects can be stressful affairs,” said GWWO Architects representative Eric Feiss. “It’s important to pause, take a breath, smell the roses — or the freshly poured concrete — and I think to commemorate the moment. It’s when we can finally appreciate and understand the form and the scale of the building.”

CCBC President Sandra Kurtinitis praised the construction and the building’s namesake. “This building is a direct testimony to the skill, the talent and the sheer dogged competitiveness that Carol brought to everything she did here,” she said.

For more than 45 years, Carol D. Eustis worked at CCBC. And her last dozen years on campus were spent as dean of the college’s School of Health Professions.

“This building will be a fitting tribute for who she was, and what she did for this institution,” Kurtinitis said.

The Carol D. Eustis Center for Health Professions will be the most “state-of-the-art” center for health professions in the area, said Kurtinitis.

“And probably in the whole darn state,” she said with a big grin. “Anne Arundel is building one as well — and they think they can beat us. But I don’t think they will. They don’t have Carol at their back.”

The new building will supply advanced labs, classrooms and offices for CCBC Health Professions departments and an expanded 140-seat testing center with sections for adaptability, including eight reduced-distraction testing rooms for special needs students.

CCBC Essex Health Professions available for study will include nursing, respiratory therapy, radiology, radiography, emergency medical technology, physician assistant, massage therapy and medical laboratory testing.

“It will be an awesome building,” CCBC’s Dean of School of Health Professions, Shawn McNamara, Ph.D. said. “But it’s nothing without the staff that we have. We have a really skilled and dedicated component of staff and faculty that make a difference in the world.”

McNamara praised Eustis for her lasting effects on the community and her field.

“Many of us on the leadership team were mentored by Carol,” McNamara said. “I think she caused us to dream big. She never put down an idea. It was, ‘How can we implement it?’ And I think thats why we’re the best, because we’ve been very creative and we’ve implemented many things that have not even started to be implemented across the country. We can’t wait to get in there so our students can have this great learning place.”

The Carol D. Eustis Center for Health Professions is due to be open by the fall semester of 2020.

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