ROCHESTER, N.Y. — ​A three-story expansion to the University of Rochester’s School of Nursing was unveiled Friday as officials cut the ribbon on the Helen Wood Hall addition.

The $15 million project adds 26,000 square feet of space, including 20-bed skills labs furnished with the equipment found in hospital rooms and four simulation labs.

The structure was built on top of the Loretta Ford Education Wing, named in honor of the school’s first Dead of Nursing in 1972.

“Many of us have watched the swinging of the steel and watched in awe at the progression of the construction of this expansion,” Kathy Rideout, dean of the School of Nursing, said. “I want to emphasize, however, that while we are celebrating this physical structure in all of its glory, it was truly built on the foundation of great School of Nursing leaders.”

URMC’s need to expand its facilities matches the need to fill nursing jobs. Since 2016, the School of Nursing has grown by 50%.