received unanimous approval from the Abilene City Council today, Oct. 26, for
actions taken by the Development Corporation of Abilene on Oct. 16, 2017,
granting the sale of the property known as AbLabs to HSU.
“We are encouraged by the
consideration given to HSU by the DCOA and the City Council, and we are
thankful for the investment they have chosen to make in helping HSU grow
healthcare education,” said HSU President Eric Bruntmyer. “The City’s
willingness to help us bring this unused facility back to life demonstrates a
vision for the future of Abilene about which we are excited.”
The building will primarily
be used to expand the HSU’s Doctor of Physical Therapy program by almost
doubling the size of current facilities. This will greatly enhance the number
of students who could enroll and matriculate into a high-demand medical
Bruntmyer said this
transaction is a benefit to both HSU and the City of Abilene.
A recent survey of postings
for physical therapists in the greater Abilene area revealed no fewer than 20 unfilled
jobs. With an average starting salary of $68,000, these students are perfectly
poised, upon graduation of HSU’s 28-month program, not only to fill a critical
human need, but also to stay in the Abilene area to aid the growth of Abilene’s
medical industry while also expanding Abilene’s tax base.
With a current total
enrollment of 81 students, HSU’s Doctor of Physical Therapy Program is
currently allowed to enroll 28 new students each Fall. With final approval from
the City Council, HSU will now petition program accreditors to allow an initial
increase of the incoming class size to 40 students. If the number of incoming
students is approved for expansion from 28 to 40, up to 120 students could be
preparing to earn their Doctorate in Physical Therapy through Hardin-Simmons
University at any given time.
information about HSU’s undergraduate and graduate programs in Physical
Therapy, please visit https://www.hsutx.edu/academics/holland/graduate/physicaltherapy/.