After two decades in the dank confines of French East, faculty and staff at the College of Allied Health Sciences (CAHS) are about to move to the light-filled spaces of the new Health Sciences Building (HSB). CAHS faculty and staff toured the under-construction HSB on Friday, Oct. 5, 2018.
The four-story HSB is being built on the site of a former parking lot just south of the Kettering Lab Complex and north of Eden Avenue Garage. It will have 11 classrooms, 26 teaching labs, 130 offices, a multi-disciplinary teaching lab clinic and suite and five conference rooms. These surround a central atrium featuring a skylight, allowing daylight into a majority of rooms.
The construction of HSB is a major part of the medical campus master plan, a seven-segment project that has seen the demolition of Kettering North, Wherry Hall and the Radiation Safety Offices, along with the renovation of Kowalewski Hall.
The ground floor of the HSB will contain administrative offices, including those of Tina Whalen, EdD, dean of CAHS. The School of Social Work, moving over from French West, will be located on level one along with the Department of Clinical and Health Information Sciences. The Department of Rehabilitation, Exercise and Nutrition Sciences (RENS) will be level two, while the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders will occupy level three.
The interior of the building features long corridors on the wings of the top three floors that run west to east with an open atrium. Between the wings on the west end of each floor are collaboration spaces designed for students, with couches, chairs and tables.
The touring group also saw classrooms and labs of various sizes, including a cooking lab featuring a gas stove and a viewing window that is also equipped with cameras to allow for distance learning.
While the latest technology and cutting edge design of the building is impressive, little things were what got some of the group excited. Tom Hermann, PhD, professor in RENS was thrilled to see spaces in the floor of a lab for electrical outlets.
"Itís hard to explain how important that issue was,Ē said Hermann. "I canít tell you how tickled I am that we have holes in the floor that will have electrical outlets.Ē
The 117,000 square feet in HSB is an increase of 50 percent from what CAHS currently occupies in French East. The HSB is scheduled to be completed by spring of 2019.