By Garrett Cote
With the new Health Science Center now under construction, students have begun to ponder what the building is going to entail and when it will be open to the public.
Due to the outdated current Health Science Center – located at an inconvenient spot all the way down toward the beginning of campus on Alden Street – and the fact that the Health Science major at Springfield continues to be a popular one, a new building was necessary.
“In health sciences right now, we have a lot of outdated facilities and we’re all over campus,” said Dean of Health Sciences, Brooke Hallowell. “We have people in Locklin, departments in Blake and I’m currently in the old building. [The old building] is not conducive to interprofessional education and clinical engagement. Being in one building is going to enhance the aspects of what we do.”
Directly across Alden Street from Locklin Hall is a long stretch of red fencing that runs down the road and surrounds 76,000 square feet of emptiness – for now. It will soon be a four-floor, state of the art Health Sciences Center. Due to the Springfield College community being unable to see over the red fence, the beginning stages of the construction process of the Health Sciences Center is somewhat a secret.
Although there isn’t an exact date set for the new building to be finished by, the College expects it will be completed by the fall of 2023. Director of Facilities, Kevin Roy, is leading the construction and is pleased with the progress thus far.
“Concrete is underway for the structure, and steel will be happening soon after that. Those are kind of the first few steps,” he said. “You can’t really see it because it’s inside the red fence, but it’s almost like two projects in one. When students come back at the end of the summer, there will be a new parking lot.”
The parking lot will have 486 spots on six acres of land for students to park in while the building continues to be constructed during the next academic year. Included in that lot will be 20 Evie electric car charging stations to accommodate students who may have electric cars.
The building itself will entail several classrooms for all majors – not just Health Science majors. Though the building is home of the School of Health Sciences, multiple areas of study will find use for its facilities.
On top of the new classrooms, the Health Science Center will have plenty of new features for students to enjoy. That includes, but is not limited to: a brand new anatomy lab, high-tech clinical simulations, a conferencing center and a state-of-the-art makerspace which helps with the development of devices, adaptive toys and other things that can be used in homes to enhance independence and health (i.e. casts, splints, prosthetics).
Considering students are going to be the main beneficiaries of the new Health Sciences Center, Hallowell, Roy and company wanted to ask them for their inputs of what to include.
“Students have been involved in the design all along,” Hallowell said. “We’ve had a lot of students’ input on features of the building that they would like, what they think is missing, things they’ve noticed in other programs. There’s a lot of attention to the student experience with the design of the building.”
With summer right around the corner, even more progress will be made by the time students are welcomed back on campus next fall.
“You obviously have the building itself, but to the east of the building, toward Judd, that’s going to be all green space in there. So you’ll have a good look coming from that side of campus with shrubs and trees and the whole visual aspect of what things will transpire.”
The construction of the Health Science Center is well underway and the building is well on track to become one of the main attractions on the campus of Springfield College.
For more information regarding the Health Science Center, including its path to completion, visit https://springfield.edu/academics/health-science-center.
Photo Courtesy the Springfield Student