The University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg has officially dedicated Asbury Hall, its new building for the College of Nursing.

Ceremonies included a ribbon-cutting and tour of the facility of the $31 million building. Classes have been held been held in the building since January.

The nursing program’s new building increases the square footage devoted to the College of Nursing by 135 percent and enables the nursing program to increase its enrollment from 550 students to more than 800.

"We now have the necessary space and technology to advance nursing education and practice far beyond what we were capable of providing in the past," says Katherine Nugent, dean of the College of Nursing.

The new facility has student interactive areas, an enlarged and enhanced clinical simulation lab, computer labs, and classrooms that will promote the acquisition of knowledge in an interactive learning environment.

The nursing program had been housed in Harkins Hall.