MARSHALL, Texas (KLTV) - It’s the tallest building in downtown Marshall. It was abandoned for years but now has been repurposed by East Texas Baptist University. The Marshall Grand Hotel has been remodeled for ETBU’s nursing program.
A few KLTV employees were recently given a tour of the facility.
ETBU President Jeffery Blair Blackburn says the Marshall Grand Hotel had fallen into disrepair and several renovation efforts were made over the years.
“I think there were ideas throughout the generations of could it be something; what could it be? And the last hope was that there might be some type of condominiums or apartment residence,” Blackburn said.
Although there were some renovations done, those plans never came to fruition because:
“It’s a significant challenge financially, and it takes money. It also takes vision and support and thankfully our board and our donors, along with our faculty in nursing worked together to make this possible,” Blackburn said.
Now most of the building is complete with state-of-the-art simulation mannequins that mimic many types of illnesses which are controlled from several computers.
“And this is a life-saving facility. It’s gone from really, what you might have thought a death of a building, where there was no activity; no life, and now it is a training center for life giving nursing skills,” he said.
There are now classrooms with digital tech and offices for administration. On the fifth floor there is a lounge that can be adapted to other uses.
“As we expand with a Master of Science and nursing education and a master of science and speech pathology, this is where those programs will be housed,” Blackburn said.
There are three floors dedicated to nursing. There is still work to do on some of the upper floors, but it’s:
“Fascinating to see what transformation can do with people united together and seeking out a vision for improving educational opportunities for students,” he said.
The relocation of ETBU’s School of Nursing to the Marshall Grand provides additional space to allow them to train more personnel for the growing medical field. The building was built in 1929.