VCU cuts ribbon on new CHP building

The Virginia Commonwealth University College of Health Professions celebrated a monumental step Monday, cutting the ribbon on a 154,000-square-foot building that will provide a unified space for its faculty, staff, students and nationally ranked programs.

The building, designed to meet LEED Silver certification standards, is scheduled to open for classes in the fall, coinciding with the college’s 50th anniversary. For the first time, all nine academic units, the doctoral program in health-related sciences, the dean’s office and the Virginia Center on Aging will be housed in the same building. Over the years, these programs have occupied 13 buildings and are currently scattered among five buildings on two campuses.

The building, which includes a west-facing eight-story wing and a south-facing four-story wing, is equipped with learning laboratories designed for patient simulation and diagnostic technology. Each of the eight floors features formal and informal spaces designed to promote interprofessional education and collaboration among the health professions specialties. Flexible classrooms have been designed for student engagement and distance-learning opportunities.

“This collaborative, state-of-the-art space will unite the College of Health Professions’ skilled faculty, staff and students under one roof for the first time in its 50-year history,” said Michael Rao, Ph.D., president of VCU and VCU Health System. “The combination of these talented people along with the college’s nationally top-ranked programs put VCU on the path to becoming the premier academic health center on the East Coast.”

Cecil Drain, Ph.D., dean of the College of Health Professions, led the push for the new building. The ribbon cutting also marks Drain’s retirement after a 22-year tenure as dean.

“Health professions, such as nurse anesthesia, physical and occupational therapy and radiation sciences, comprise more than 60 percent of the health care workforce,” Drain said. “This new building will enable the college to provide a consistent supply of excellent practitioners to address ongoing patient needs.”

A version of this article was previously published by VCU News.

To learn more about the College of Health Professions, contact T. Greg Prince, senior director of development, at (804) 828-7247 or