175,000-sq-ft building opens on campus


Photo courtesy of Tim Tumelty

The new Health and Life Sciences building opened on the Arnold campus Aug. 11.

Dominic Salacki, Editor-in-Chief

The new Health and Life Sciences building opened on the Arnold campus Aug. 11 after two years of construction.

The building will house the college’s growing nursing program, along with other health and life sciences departments and biology.

“I am excited to see this new building on campus,” Joey Ort, a first-year engineering transfer student, said. It’s “the perfect way to celebrate campus reopening after having to adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The largest building on campus, the structure stands three stories tall and contains approximately 175,000 square feet. The second-largest building, Careers, is 122,000 square feet.

The building holds state-of-the-art instructional areas like simulation suites that look like hospital rooms.

“Patients” in those suites are high-tech mannequins that appear to speak, have heart attacks and even give birth, according to Jim Taylor, director of facilities planning and construction. 

The building “is pretty tricked out when it comes to simulation,” Taylor said. “If you go in there, I don’t think you could tell the difference between a real hospital [and the simulation suites]. It looks that identical.”

The building has ceiling cameras that record students’ performance so professors can review it with them.

Other simulation rooms look like the inside of an ambulance. And some labs look like dentist offices.

“This state-of-the-art facility is a phenomenal addition to the Arnold campus and will help us continue to provide the best training in the many fields of health care and science,” President Dawn Lindsay said in an email to faculty and staff.

Paul Cortese, a third-year culinary arts student, likened the hands-on experience nursing students will get in the simulation rooms to the instruction that baking students get in on-campus kitchens.  

“I can certainly attest that hands-on experience with professional face-to-face guidance and direct feedback are invaluable,” Cortese said. “I imagine health care likely falls into the same category.”

The Health and Life Sciences building also features a 160-seat lecture hall that Taylor called “gorgeous,” and has open spaces and study areas where students can work and socialize. The building also dedicated spaces for tutoring.

Chick-fil-A has moved from the CALT building to the first floor of the Health and Life Sciences building. It opened on Monday with a full-service kitchen.

“I am a big Chick-fil-A fan, so it will be great to have this option available on campus,” Ort said. “It’ll be a great excuse to check out the new building.” 

During construction, which began in 2019, the campus routed Ring Road outward toward College Parkway, which omitted  200 parking spaces in D lot. However, a new parking lot–M–includes approximately 220 new spots.

“In essence, we did not lose any parking by putting in the [new building]; that is for sure,” Taylor said. “If I was a student, probably the closest parking is either D or C lot.”

The last time the Arnold campus got a new structure was in 2004, when the CALT building opened.

“When students get to go into the [Health and Life Sciences] building and actually start walking around, I think they’ll be impressed,” Taylor said.