Changes are under construction in the Pendergraft Health Sciences Center, all to make things better for the 300 or more students who work and study in the building every day.
“We are pretty excited about some of the changes,” said Dr. Ron Darbeau, interim dean of the College of Health Sciences. “We want to make this building even better for the students who come here to learn.”
The change kicking up the most dust right now is swapping the locations of the break room and the Health Sciences Learning Resource Center, said Dr. Lynn Korvick, associate dean of the College of Health Sciences and interim executive director of nursing.
The current break room has a couple of vending machines, three round tables, and 12 chairs. That’s insufficient for the number of students who may spend their days in the building.
Although students use the Learning Resource Center for studying, having expansive space for books and print publications is less pressing now that e-books and other online sources are more common. And, Korvick said, the library is just across the lawn providing books and more study space.
“This building is very accommodating to changing student needs,” she said. “If we find a time when more than 12 students want to study, we can find them an empty classroom. There is space for everything.”
So the bookshelves have come down in the LRC, and plastic sheeting has gone up.
Adjacent to the LRC, another change is underway. Soon the College of Health Sciences will have a separate advising center. Previously the advisor had an office in the dean’s suite, which meant that all students in Health Sciences would have to pass through that office.
The new advising center promises to increase confidentiality for students seeking advisement while decreasing traffic through the dean’s suite.
The birthing room for nursing students is also getting a facelift. The current room lacks space for students to watch high fidelity simulations, so a watching room is being added. And there will be more to see. TheSchool of Nursing also has a new baby for its simulations.
“The baby responds in a very lifelike way to a number of birthing conditions,” Korvick said. This baby can simulate many obstetrical and neonatal complications.”
A final change, less noticeable to visitors than to the students who inhabit the building is the plan to add some dispensers for water bottles. Trying to fill those the reusable water bottles many students carry at traditional water fountains is definitely a two-hand operation and a messy one at that. The water dispensers made for bottles, operational with one hand, simplify the process and radically reduce the chance of shooting water up your sleeves and all over the floor.
Finally, something for those dependent on their mobile devices: Seating areas and other locations around the building will have charging stations to ensure students stay connected.