MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Faulkner University is very pleased to announce today the recent purchase of the Montgomery East Plaza Shopping Center, which will become the new site for the University’s College of Health Sciences.

The date of the purchase was finalized on June 24, 2020.

Located east and directly adjacent to Faulkner’s Montgomery campus at 5345 Atlanta Highway, the purchased property totals 151,000 square feet in store front property and a total of 13 acres of land. It does not include Hardee’s, El Jalisco or Root Salon.

Negotiations for the property began last year following the move of Burlington Coat Factory to its current location in EastChase.

“The acquisition of this property provides a tremendous opportunity for Faulkner University to expand our institutional footprint and reinvest in our city,” said Faulkner University President Mike Williams. “As we begin to reimagine this property, the first stage is to repurpose the former Burlington Coat Factory building. This facility will be transformed to house our new College of Health Sciences. The positive influence it will have on the community is astronomical.”

Renovations are scheduled to begin immediately to the vacant storefront section previously housing Burlington. Renovations will include all new frontage and signage, along with interior classrooms, offices and clinical labs. Subsequent renovations will be completed in phases.

Once completed, the facility will house all of Faulkner's health science programs including Speech and Language Pathology, Physician Assistant, Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy. The Physician Assistant program will begin in Fall 2020, while Physical Therapy is scheduled to begin in 2021 followed by Occupational Therapy in 2022.

Speech and Language Pathology, the first program of Faulkner’s College of Health Sciences currently uses an off-site clinic which is open to the public and located on Woodmere Boulevard. That clinic, which is currently being rented, will move to the Montgomery East Plaza location. It will remain a public clinic and will continue to see patients free of charge.

The first SLP cohort is set to graduate on August 8. They graduated and received their diplomas in the mail on May 1, however the ceremony, which would have been held on that date was postponed until August due to COVID-19.

The overall vision for the property and the Faulkner University College of Health Sciences is to create an interdisciplinary learning model for students and to offer the community a fully operational Autism Center.

The original concept was to construct an entirely new facility on Faulkner’s current Montgomery campus. Nearly half the funds were raised for the project. However, once the property located next to campus became available, the opportunities for cost-savings and future expansion opened as well.