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New science building constructed, not open

The James F. Will Engineering and Biomedical Sciences Hall is a building extending from the north wing of the Herman and Sis Dupré Science Pavilion which finished construction this summer. As indicated by two signs to the entrance, the building is not yet officially open and access is restricted. Nurse anesthesia students are currently using a room in the building while their original classroom is being repaired, however.

Saint Vincent’s public relations stated on the Saint Vincent website that the building will feature a human anatomy laboratory, two research laboratories, an interdisciplinary classroom and an engineering laboratory.

According to public relations, the anatomy lab will have six surgical stations in a simulated environment, advanced audio and video capabilities, a teaching station with cameras, a conference room with technology, a lab prep area, a refrigerated storage area, lockers and changing rooms.

Alison Boyer, an integrated science major, is currently taking human anatomy and physiology, a two-semester long course that was instituted this 2017-2018 academic year.

Boyer anticipates the move to the new building within the school year.

“Our professor told us that, hopefully, we’ll be getting [into the human anatomy lab] either the end of this semester or next semester, and we’d hopefully be getting parts of a [cadaver] to look at,” Boyer said.

The resources in the lab will enhance the class, Boyer said, and the building will make a lasting impact for biology students in particular.

“I think it could improve grades,” Boyer said. “Because when you are just looking at models and you’re just looking at the pictures in the textbook, sometimes it just doesn’t make enough sense, until you get hands-on with it.”

Boyer, whose concentration is in allied health, said she hopes to become a physician’s assistant, so understanding anatomical and physiological concepts is important for her.

The development of this concentration, along with the institution of an engineering science program, meets “the changing needs of students and of society,” Br. Norman Hipps O.S.B, president, said according to public relations.

Hipps also said the building will have an impact on these programs.

“This structure will provide state-of-the-art classrooms and laboratories to accommodate human anatomy teaching in the biomedical sciences and dedicated space for our growing engineering program,” Hipps said.

Dr. Michael Rhodes, associate professor of biology, said that the new facilities from the building will provide new opportunities for students.

Feb. 2, 2017 was the ceremony where the last structural beam to the building, which was signed by students, faculty and staff, was placed.

Public relations reported that the building is two stories, 11,260 square feet and cost $4.5 million.

Photo: Matthew Wojtechko

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