St. Louis Community College at Forest Park has opened a $39 million Center for Nursing and Health Sciences.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the college envisions the building a modern entry way and “front door” to the campus that opened in 1996.
Chancellor Jeff Pittman says the center also addresses the urgent needs of the communityfor health care professionals as the population ages.
The four-story, 96,000-square-foot building seeks to modernize the school’s medical training facilities and attract more students to health care professions.
About 900 students are enrolled in the school’s health sciences programs, including about 400 studying for associate’s degrees in nursing.
The new building replaces two towers, labeled A and B, built in the 1960s. New construction was less expensive than updating those buildings and removing asbestos, school officials say.
Towers A and B will be torn down in 2020 to add green space to the campus.
The center has large windows that bring in abundant natural light and sweeping views of Forest Park and Barnes-Jewish Hospital.
Some areas mimic a hospital — with MRI machines, an intensive care unit and operating rooms.
Everything in the building is designed to simulate what students will encounter in their careers. One group of rooms is set up to look like an apartment, with a bedroom, living room, kitchen and bathroom. The space will be used by paramedics-in-training to simulate rescue scenarios. Future medics also have use of a mock ambulance to practice transporting patients.
Hand-washing stations are operated with a bend of the knee. Operating rooms have bright overhead lighting.
On the first floor, a functioning dental clinic has 30 chairs where dental hygiene students will treat patients.
The lab space is designed for hands-on, real-world experiences as more students prepare for careers in scientific and engineering fields.
The architect is KAI Design & Build and the builder is Tarlton Corp.