Different people, different pieces, that is the new spirit of the Allied Health Building. The design of this building was a collaborative effort on the part of not just the design team, the architects, and the builders, but also on the part of the faculty that works in the building. Every person had a hand in the design and the look of the building. The team paid close attention to details of safety, economic efficiency, and technology, all while creating a magnificent feel and look. Allied Health has been reborn under a new name—Physical & Health Sciences Building—and a completely different feeling. The renovation started two years ago, and some difficulties caused the opening to be pushed back by a semester earlier. But now that the building has been opened, a new look and feel has also opened up on the campus of Alfred State. “It came right down to the wire,” said Dr. Terry W. Tucker, Dean, School of Arts & Sciences, in reference to getting students in on the first day of classes.
I had a chance to get to speak with both Dr. Tucker and Mark J. Amman, as they gave me a tour around the “new building.” They told me that everything inside the building was gutted. Every interior wall was removed, including pipes and electric systems. Now, although the building is still not 100% completed, everything that they have planned is moving along quite nicely. The simulated rooms are the most interesting in my opinion. For nursing students, they built a simulated hospital area with hospital beds, and a simulated apartment to help familiarize students when it comes to working with shut-in patients. They also built a simulated hospital room with a mannequin that can mimic any dis-ease or complication through the computer that it’s hooked up to, all while the teacher watches from be-hind a one-way window. Forensic students will also get a simulated apartment to work in where they will have to find and collect evidence whether it be a bloodstain smeared across the washable walls, finger-prints, or hair samples. They will then take those samples next-door into the lab where they can be analyzed. The simulators are not just the only things that make this building unique; there’s something else that the students may not get to see, but some-thing they can appreciate.
That’s the carbon footprint of the building. Fume hoods that send heat out of the building are connected to a machine on the roof that recaptures that heat and sends it back into the building while letting the toxic fumes out. The building is designed to keep sunlight out in the summer and allow light to pass through in the winter. There are glass walls to allow light through, and these walls also create “Science by display.” The building can also create its own supply of distilled water through a process called reverse osmosis. The water system is also low-flow to minimize its consumption of water. The air conditioning and heating systems are also designed to maximize economic efficiency as well as energy efficiency. The foyer will soon have a monitor that displays the up-to-date status of the electricity, heating, and air, in real time.
The total cost of everything came to a sizable figure around $18 million. One student commented “The building is a breath of fresh air,” and well worth visiting. Even if you don’t have classes in this building, I recommended that you at least walk through it to appreciate its beauty. It is truly a work of art.