$43 million Charles Drew University nursing school empty because banks say so

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Patricia Nazario/KPCC

State-of-the-art classrooms inside the new nursing school at Charles Drew University in South L.A. remain empty. The program's first 25 students are studying inside bungalows on campus. The university is behind on loan payments and contract language is keeping the building closed.

Class is in session at Charles Drew University’s new nursing school in South Los Angeles. But the program’s first 25 students are not studying inside the $43 million building. Professors lecture in bungalows on campus because the university is behind on its bank payments.

Interim president Keith Norris says $10 million from the state public works board would cover that payment. He hopes it’ll move through the pipeline and into lenders’ hands within the next couple of weeks.

“Or, at least get to a point that they feel that there’s enough documentation that increase their level of comfort with this coming forward soon," says Norris.

Sovereign Bank and Morgan Stanley Smith Barney are Charles Drew’s financial partners in the Mervyn Dymally School of Nursing. School officials held a ribbon cutting ceremony two weeks ago and class started last Monday. But contract language is keeping its doors shut until lenders are satisfied.

The spanking-new facility includes laboratory, research and classroom space.

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