NEWS | July 23, 2015

UC Davis announces new building for Sacramento campus


Leaders of the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at UC Davis announced plans to construct a new education building in Sacramento. Betty Irene Moore Hall will be the fourth structure in the educational core of the campus and will house graduate programs of the School of Nursing, as well as support interprofessional education for other health science education on the UC Davis Sacramento campus.

The new Betty Irene Moore Hall will serve as the main home for the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at UC Davis. The new Betty Irene Moore Hall will serve as the main home for the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at UC Davis.

“We need a building to support both our growing research and education programs and to sustain our vision of innovation far into the future,” said Heather M. Young, associate vice chancellor for nursing and founding dean. “Betty Irene Moore Hall adds modern classroom space to the Sacramento campus, provides the unique spaces needed to prepare new nurses and also supports education and research programs throughout the health professions.”

Groundbreaking on the $50 million, 70,000-square-foot building is slated for November. Once complete in fall 2017, Betty Irene Moore Hall will feature collaborative learning spaces rather than traditional classrooms. Planned state-of-the-art simulation suites will engage students through interactive learning platforms and further the school’s capacity to advance health and transform health care.

UC Davis leaders first identified the need for additional learning and research spaces as part of a long-range planning process in 2010. Then, leaders from both the School of Nursing and the School of Medicine envisioned facilities that would add classroom and research space on the Sacramento campus as well as provide flexible spaces needed to prepare future health professionals in nursing, medicine, health informatics, public health and more.

“We are delighted with the plans for Betty Irene Moore Hall,” said Marybeth Sharpe, program director with the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. “Its innovative design and approach to interdisciplinary education honor our founder’s vision for nurses and frontline clinicians to lead their teams, deliver high-quality care and improve patient outcomes. We look forward to seeing future generations of nurse leader graduates.”

The building plan leverages existing educational facilities and sustains increased enrollment. After a competitive bid process, the construction firm of McCarthy Building Companies was selected to lead the design-build effort. The project’s architectural firm is WRNS Studio.

The three-story building will feature simulation labs where care scenarios play out on one side and debriefing rooms provide an environment to discuss bedside decisions on the other side. Plans call for an inpatient eight-bed hospital ward, task and anatomy skills labs and a 15-room primary-care clinic. The building also encourages teamwork and active instruction with flexible education spaces that can be quickly reformatted to meet the needs of different courses and learning styles. Collaborative spaces, known as learning commons, weave throughout to foster continual exchange between classroom and clinical learning and research.

Earlier this year, UC Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi invited input from the university community to envision the “University of the 21st Century.”  With new trends in teaching and learning, coupled with the potential for global impact through education, scholarship and research, Katehi challenges educators to “use learning as a way to achieve excellence; where the answer to every question creates a path toward a new inquiry; and where statements and demands give way to dialogue and debate.”

“Her call to envision new ways to learn affirms the very foundation on which the School of Nursing was built,” Young said. “From student-focused learning to partnerships with local organizations, our programs spark active learning and engage the communities we serve.”

In addition to the new building, renovations are planned for an adjacent building that houses faculty and support staff. Construction will begin in the next few months to transform 15,400 square feet of office space into active-learning classrooms. Funding for Betty Irene Moore Hall includes a portion of the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation grant as well as investment from UC Davis. Room-naming opportunities are also available to fund equipment and other enhancements.

The Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing was founded in 2009 with a $100 million commitment from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. Currently, the school offers four graduate-level degrees through the interprofessional Nursing Science and Health-Care Leadership Graduate Degree Programs. A fifth, which will prepare new nurses at the master’s-degree level, is expected to enroll its first class of students in 2016. The school opened in 2010 with 33 students and full enrollment of about 420 students is expected by 2022. Betty Irene Moore Hall will meet that need, as well as fulfill the long-term goals set forth by the foundation and the university.

To learn more about Betty Irene Moore Hall, click here. For more information on the School of Nursing, visit