The Emory University School of Medicine will begin site work this summer on a major new home for teaching and administration, located in the World War I-vintage heart of the health sciences campus adjacent to the Woodruff Health Sciences Center Administration Building (WHSCAB).
The $55 million construction project will create as its centerpiece a dramatic new 116,000-square-foot teaching and administration building adjoining the Anatomy and Physiology Buildings, designed by original campus architect Henry Hornbostel and opened in 1917. Those buildings are currently empty and awaiting renovation.
The initiative will equip the school with state-of-the-art teaching laboratories and classrooms, combined with cutting-edge communications technology, and will allow Emory to continue to compete for the nation's finest medical students.
"It allows us to use 21st century technology to educate the physicians of the 21st century," says Dean Thomas J. Lawley, MD.
"Our goal is not merely to create newer and more aesthetically Pleasing space for students, faculty, and administration, but to anticipate the new kinds of laboratory and classroom facilities that will be required by our evolving curriculum and to build for the next half-century," he adds.
The new 162,000-square-foot complex (which includes 46,000 feet of space in the refurbished Anatomy & Physiology Buildings) will become the home of all medical school activities currently housed in a 1970s-era "Connector" building as well as in WHSCAB, including classrooms and meeting rooms,lecture halls, and student lockers and lounges, along with the School of Administration's administrative offices.
The project has been designed by the Connecticut-based architectural Firm S/L/A/M Collaborative, which also designed the new Emory Children's Center building that opened in September 2004. Major gifts toward the cost of the education building have been received from the Charles F. and Peggy Evans Family as well as other alumni and friends. The Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees approved the project Thursday, May 12.
Charles T. Andrews, associate vice president for space planning and construction for the Woodruff Health Sciences Center, says the new building will follow Emory's campus design guidelines. It will be clad in stone and roofed with red tile and will be "respectful" of the Hornbostel buildings without trying to imitate either their appearance or that of the modernistic WHSCAB Building on the other side. The new building will have four stories above ground and one floor below ground, where expanded space for cadaveric dissection will be located.
The building will have three large, tiered auditoriums, each holding up to 160 persons.
But in other ways it will be geared to the pedagogy of the 21st century,with many smaller labs and rooms designed to promote case studies and active interaction between students and faculty. It will have 18 problem-based learning rooms for groups of 20 students, four seminar rooms for groups of 40 students, 16 clinical exam rooms equipped with TV cameras for standardized patient testing, and two large computer classrooms, each capable of holding up to 75 students.
"This building is being designed to support much more of an emphasis On active learning," said J. William Eley, MD, MPH, executive associate Dean for medical education. "The Connector building had classrooms and labs, so it was a place for students to learn, but it was not truly a learning center in the sense that this new building will be. The students and faculty are really excited about it."
Upper floors in the building will house the school's admissions office; student support, teaching and administrative space; and the dean's and executive associate deans' offices that are now located on the third floor of WHSCAB.