Final beam installed on $45 million Wood Health Sciences Building at Odessa College

Published: Jun. 15, 2023 at 5:20 PM CDT
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ODESSA, Texas (KOSA) - The framework of Odessa College’s newest facility was completed during a ‘topping out ceremony’ Wednesday morning.

The Wood Health Sciences Building is a $45 million project that broke ground in September 2021. The framework was completed after faculty, donors and builders signed the beam.

Odessa College President Gregory Williams says he wrote, “This is pretty cool.”

The building will train medical professionals and provide services to the Odessa community. The first floor will feature a simulation hospital that will give students hands-on experience.

“We build these things with our community in mind,” Williams said. “It’s all about creating an environment, creating a culture where humans can do better and have better experiences. That’s what a community is about and Odessa College should be that space. And we’re trying to live up to that each and every day.”

A pine tree was placed on top of the beam, which college faculty said references an ancient Scandinavian tradition that helped builders know when their wood frames were dried out.

More than 40,000 man-hours have gone into the building so far with no employee injuries. According to Williams, the building will be finished in late 2024.

So far, the college has raised $42 million of the necessary $45 million via Odessa College community partners. The building is named after the Wood Family Foundation, which is a major donor.

Williams is not only focused on the building but also on the people who will fill the rooms.

“The buildings are very important, but the people are also critical,” Williams said. “And within these buildings, we educate the people who do the work and who help those people who are in need.”