HOPEWELL — The Sands Center for Allied Health will more than double the Finger Lakes Community College nursing program and provide a state-of-the-art facility nursing students and others lauded Tuesday at a groundbreaking ceremony.

Richard Sands, who spoke at the groundbreaking for the Sands Center for Allied Health, talked about what he learned from his parents about the importance of health care to a community.

The Sands Family Foundation contributed $3 million to the $7.2 million building project. The new wing will allow the college to gradually double the number of students accepted into its registered nursing associate degree program. FLCC will also launch a one-year licensed practical nursing program.

SUNY Chancellor Jim Malatras lauded the Sands gift as the “largest philanthropic donation in the college’s history.” Malatras and other speakers praised the project as providing a “top-notch, world-class” facility to fill a desperate need for nurses. 

The center will be constructed behind the main campus building on Marvin Sands Drive. The new wing is to be completed in phases throughout the 2021-2022 academic year.

Shovels went in the ground Tuesday for a ceremonial groundbreaking of the Sands Center for Allied Health at Finger Lakes Community College.

Nursing students Sam Peters and Sara Weigert said before the ceremony they are excited for the new facility that will come with advanced technology and related equipment.

Peters, who plans to graduate from the RN program next May, said one of the changes will allow students to train in a more real-life setting, as instructors can observe via camera instead of in the room with students.  Peters welcomes that method as she believes it will best test her skills. The students are also excited about the additional space and equipment the new center will provide for simulation, which allows students to repeatedly perform clinical practices.