Board of Regents looking for architect for new building plan

Anisa Jibrell – News Writer

The Board of Regents has begun its search for a new architect to breathe life into the building committee’s visions for the new home of the School of Health and Human Services.

A programming study took place last year where a roughly, 20-person committee was formed–consisting staff and faculty.  The committee worked together with an architectural firm for a year to come up with ideas and define their needs, according to Sandra Bulmar, interim dean of the school of Health and Human Services.

“Everybody got a chance to dream a little bit about what their ideal would be,” said Bulmar, “and so it was a really fun exercise.”

lang house

Lang House Photo Credit, Jene Thomas

Bulmar said one of the “important visions” that emerged from the conversations during the programing study was to bring all six departments under one roof.

“There is no school that’s more spread out than we are, and that’s the number one priority that the faculty identified,” said Bulmar.

The School of Health and Human Services is located at the Lang House, right beside the Admissions House on Farhnam Avenue.  Just to name a few departments, the nursing faculty is currently located in Jennings, Marriage & Family Therapy along with the Communication disorders department  are located on the bottom floor of Davis Hall. Public health is in the Orlando house, recreation and leisure, in office building one.     

“They wanted to be in one building together so they could do interprofessional education and learn from one another, have our students from different disciplines working together, [and] have our faculty doing research together.”

The committee wants to try to develop an interdisciplinary patients simulation center, said Bulmar, a place where all students could all work in a simulated environment with actors who would be acting as patients and learn and practice their skills.  

If the center is created, it will contain mannequins, technology and there will be multiple opportunities for actors to come in so students from different departments can practice their craft.

“…and that’s really the trend nationwide—for  health professions to be interdisciplinary in nature,” said Bulmar.

Bulmar said the Board of Regents is looking to hire the architect by the start of the spring semester, and the sized budget is roughly $53 million.

“Certainly we’ll get a good start with this amount of money and if we’re able to expand the project sooner, that would be wonderful,” said Bulmar, “but that’ll take some additional funding that we have not yet identified.”

The building is just one piece of the state university system’s ambitious “Transform CSCU 2020” project. In October the university celebrated the completed renovation of the state-of-the-art, academic science laboratory building. Last spring the university celebrated the completion of the Hilton C. Buley library. The entire renovation of the library totaled $91.5 million.

What the programming study showed us is that we need quite a bit more, quite a larger building than what we have a budget for right now,” said Bulmar.

The next phase of the project would be to take the work the building committee compiled last year and to match it to the sized budget.

“10 years ago maybe 53 million was enough but we’re a lot bigger and we need more space,” said Bulmar. “Professions change.”

Photo Credit: Jene Thomas – News Editor 

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