Moravian College held a ribbon-cutting ceremony Thursday to unveil its new $23 million health sciences building on its Main Street campus in Bethlehem.
The Sally Breidegam Miksiewicz Center for Health Sciences was named in memory of Breidegam Miksiewicz, a 1984 Moravian alumna who died at 52 in 2014. She was CEO and vice chairwoman of East Penn Manufacturing in Lyon Station.
“I was dumbfounded that one of the best nursing programs in the state of Pennsylvania was housed in the farmhouse and the alumni house of the college, so we needed to build a state-of-the-art facility that could add to the prestige that St. Luke’s brought to this program,” said Bryon Grigsby, president of Moravian College.
St. Luke’s University Health Network partnered with Moravian, and with this building, as well as the Sports Medicine & Rehabilitation Center which opened last year on Schoenersville Road, Moravian is investing more than $31 million in the Lehigh Valley for health care, Grigsby said.
The new building, which stands at Main and West Laurel streets, was designed by ESa, an architectural firm based in Nashville, and incorporates architectural elements that evoke the college’s 275-year-old Moravian heritage—such as the use local stone and a Dutch gambrel roof— with sleek, modern angles and glass and light-filled spaces. The structure was built by J.G. Petrucci of Bethlehem.
The academic spaces include classrooms, offices, labs, simulation rooms and the Lehigh Valley’s first virtual cadaver lab.
The lab will help provide more physical therapists, occupational therapists and athletic trainers with additional training opportunities. Moravian’s nursing program students will use the cadaver lab, as will nursing students from St. Luke’s University Health Network.
The health sciences building allows Moravian to work with the Bethlehem Area School District to develop more students who could go into the science, technology, math and engineering fields.
A 500-pound, eight-foot-long glass Moravian star, the college’s symbol, hangs in a three-story glass tower, that when lit at night will be visible downtown from Main and Broad streets.
“The Moravian star complements the Bethlehem star on South Mountain, so we have two lit stars as beacons for Bethlehem,” Grigsby said.
The building opened during the summer for faculty and staff, and is now hosting students for the fall semester. Nursing students will no longer have to travel to St. Luke’s University Hospital Network facilities to take classes. The center was designed to accommodate a 25 percent growth in the nursing program, which has several students on a waiting list, Grigsby said.
The Miksiewicz family, along with local dignitaries, attended the dedication ceremony, which was followed by a tour of the facility.
For an inside look at the health center, click HERE.