Durham County voters approve $112 million bond referendum to fund new training centers in healthcare, life sciences at Durham Tech

Life sciences buildingDurham County voters overwhelmingly supported a $112.7 million bond referendum Tuesday that will construct two state-of-the-art facilities for healthcare and life sciences training.  

With booming career opportunities in healthcare and life sciences, Durham Tech is well-positioned to train local talent and provide a diverse workforce pipeline to area companies. Durham Tech leadership has worked with industry partners to plan and design the new facilities. 

Durham Tech President J.B. Buxton thanked Durham voters for their support Tuesday and said the new facilities would put more Durham residents in high paying careers. 

"I want to thank Durham voters and residents for your support and confidence. Your investment in Durham Tech is an investment in the people of this community. With the passage of the bond, we will be able to construct the facilities needed to prepare people to access great jobs and careers with family-sustaining wages in our region. Your vote helps us deliver on the promise of connecting residents to great jobs and connecting companies to great, diverse talent,” Buxton said. 

John Burness, Chair of the Durham Tech Board of Trustees, thanked county leadership for their support of Durham Tech. 

“I want to thank the Durham County Commissioners and staff for their support of these projects and their forward-looking leadership for our county. These projects will impact individuals’ lives, families’ well-being, and the economic development of the region.” 

A breakdown of the bond referendum includes:  

$74 million for an 86,000-square-foot building to expand and consolidate health care-related training programs, including a pedestrian connector across East Lawson Street from the Educational Resources Center;  

$35.2 million for a 35,280-square-foot building to house life sciences industry training and education.  

$3.5 million to purchase parcels for the future expansion of the Durham Main Campus. 

In July, community leaders voiced strong support for the bond at the Durham County Board of Commissioners public hearing. Representatives from Duke Health, Novo Nordisk, Made in Durham, and the Greater Durham Chamber supported the bond and spoke to the positive impacts on employment in the life sciences and health care sectors, as well as the impact on connecting more Durham residents to high-skill, high-wage jobs and careers.  

Dr. Susan Bowen, Chief Campus Operations Officer at Durham Tech, said the College will immediately develop a Request for Information (RFI) for potential architects and a selection process for the construction projects. Bowen said the College hopes to complete the selection process by March. 

For more information, contact Communications and Public Relations Coordinator, Desiree Patrick at allisontowsond@durhamtech.edu

Read more about the Durham Tech bond projects at www.durhamtech.edu/2022bond