• Bob Vlach, Woodford Sun Staff

Frontier Nursing U. finalizing plans for move to Versailles


With renovation plans not yet finalized for buildings on the former United Methodist Home campus on Lexington Road, Frontier Nursing University plans to move around 50 of its employees to temporary offices (formerly apartments near the golf course property) toward the end of June, according to its executive vice president for finance and facilities. Michael Steinmetz said the Frontier Nursing University (FNU) administrative staff will remain in the temporary offices until renovations are complete on two existing administrative buildings sometime around mid-fall. Students will likely begin attending orientations and clinical sessions on the Versailles campus in early-2019, he added. Once a general contractor has been hired for the project, Steinmetz said a timetable for completing renovations will “be firmed up a little bit.” He said work has already begun to prepare buildings for renovations. “We need a larger space to accommodate our growth,” said Steinmetz of the move to Versailles. “We’ve grown tremendously over the past years due to the popularity of our programs. And we need to meet (those growth needs) with the increased space this campus offers.” The former Methodist Home campus had all of the buildings and necessary space to accommodate the growth at Frontier Nursing University, he said. “It has an educational building. The gymnasium we’re going to use as a large auditorium,” said Steinmetz. Dormitories will be repurposed to house faculty members who come to the 36-acre Versailles campus for student clinical sessions. Plans include renovating the historic house at the center of campus, replacing the current dining hall and adding a guard shack at the entrance for tighter security, said Steinmetz. He said additional parking in an expansion of the parking lot is also planned. With its students and faculty from across the United States, Steinmetz described the Versailles campus as a convenient location for those coming to FNU for orientations and one week, hands-on clinical training. “All of this travel will be much easier and much less costly for them (with our campus) being near the airport,” said Steinmetz. Frontier Nursing University officials have previously stated that the institution will maintain operation of its property near Hyden, including the Wendover Bed & Breakfast Inn. However, that location is much further away than Versailles to Blue Grass Airport in Lexington, Steinmetz said. “Additionally,” he described the Versailles campus as being located in “beautiful countryside, and we like the rural atmosphere for Frontier (Nursing University). It’s part of our tradition and history.” FNU’s founder, Mary Breckinridge, established Frontier Nursing Service (and what is Frontier Nursing University today) as part of her demonstration project to provide care to women and families with a focus on those in rural and undeserved areas. FNU’s community-based, distance education delivery focuses on providing access to a graduate education to nurses in rural and underserved areas, a FNU news release stated. Frontier Nursing University finalized the purchase of the United Methodist Children’s Home campus and adjacent property, including the golf course, on Lexington Road in October 2017. The Methodist Home moved its operations to Nicholasville.

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