GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KREX) — CMU just cast a new chapter for some health-related programs. The school teamed up with both local hospitals and the City of Grand Junction to bring healthcare’s incoming workforce a classroom that looks more like the place they’ll eventually work.

This facility, more than 20 thousand square feet, has current students pumped to continue their education.

“This lab is amazing,” Future Physician Assistant Naomi Martin “Not to say our other building wasn’t, but this is like looks like state-of-the-art, brand new, just waiting for us to continue to learn our clinical skill set.”

The project, which has been a decade in the making, will educate and train students to be qualified physician assistants, occupational and physical therapists. After state funding didn’t come through, Tim Foster committed to get the idea off the ground before he left.

According to Program Director Dr. Amy Bronson, it’s been a long time coming.

“We think about where we started and where we are today really stands for so much more,” Program Director Dr. Amy Bronson elaborates, “It really stands for what our community we come together know that Workforce especially in our healthcare field as needed now and in the future.”

Dozens of financial donations created 12 classrooms and labs, group study areas and office space. St. Mary’s President Bryan Johnson says getting the building open is only the start of St. Mary’s involvement.

“As this program grows; having that faculty and the faculty in the campuses and the hospital campuses to teach and train these students is important,” St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center President Bryan Johnson believes, “I expect we’ll be heavily involved with that going forward.”

Class is in session at the new facility Monday — kicking off a new era in Maverick medical studies.