Construction in Pelz relocates students


Abby EpsteinNews Writer

Due to the construction of the new Health and Human Services building, students taking classes in the basement of Pelz Gymnasium were moved elsewhere on campus.

The new Health and Human Services building will be in front of Pelz and behind the Academic, Science and Laboratory building. Southern’s $74 million project is fully funded by the state and will break ground on Friday, March 6, 2020.

Southern has hired the construction company Skanska. The company specializes in civil infrastructure and developing commercial properties. The four-story building, which will be 94,750 square feet in size, will be “designed to promote interdisciplinary learning through faculty and student engagement,” according to Southern’s website.

The school wants to bring the health and science departments that are spread across campus into one building. The website also states that other departments such as communication disorders, nursing, public health and recreation, tourism and sports management will also be in the new building.

Southern’s website mentions five key building features: a communication disorders teaching clinic and research center, a human performance teaching and research center, an interdisciplinary collaboration center, a nursing clinical simulation center and a recreation therapy ability room.

Before the building process could begin, the Pelz basement had to be cleared out, meaning all exercise science classes had to be relocated. All offices and most classes are now housed in Jennings Hall, with a few in Moore Field House.

“We knew a couple of months in advance that we had to move by the end of fall semester,” said assistant professor and Co-Coordinator for Physical Education Cathy Abel-Beri.

The school moved the office furniture for the faculty, but they were responsible for packing up their belongings in their offices. Students were not well informed about the move out of Pelz.

“I had no idea the classrooms were being moved until literally the last week of last semester when our professors moved out,” said exercise science major Jillian Chicano, a senior.

Besides the late notice, the move has interrupted student life in other ways.

“With the move some of our assignments have been misplaced, so it’s been taking longer to receive grades from last semester,” said exercise science major Emily Kowalski, a senior.

Students said they have been adjusting to the changes within their department. “Our seminars have been moved around from Pelz, to Moore Field House, to Jennings,” said Kowalski.

However, she said the move overall was not bad, but students could get used to being in one place just to be moved around again.

The Health and Human Services building is projected to be completed in the fall of 2021.

“I feel the new building with all of its props are going to give me some amazing real-life experiences,” said accelerated athletic training major Megan Dombrowski, a freshman.

Kowalski and Chicano both graduate this year so they will only be around for the beginning of the construction process, but Dombrowski said she is excited she will be able to experience the new building.

“I am most excited about all the technology and facilities being placed inside the building,” said Dombrowski. “It is truly going to put the student into a work setting even though they are still in school.”

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