A ribbon-cutting ceremony, scheduled for 1:30 p.m., will include Minnesota Lt. Governor Yvonne Prettner-Solon; Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU) Trustee Tom Renier; LSC President-Emeritus Kathleen Nelson, and LSC President Patrick Johns.
“Our new Health and Science building is designed to support the training needs for a growing and specialized healthcare workforce in the Arrowhead region and beyond,” said LSC President Patrick Johns. “This facility provides our students and faculty with top-notch teaching and learning space that is customized for our nursing, allied health, and science programs.”
The 36,712-square-foot building includes teaching laboratories, a hospital nursing simulation center, and “smart” classrooms. Programs housed in the new facility include nursing, respiratory therapy, surgical technology medical laboratory technician, phlebotomy, medical assistant, geology, biology and earth sciences.
“The new building will help lessen concerns about scheduling and crowding,” said Hanna Erpestad, dean of liberal arts and sciences. “The number of our students pursuing a transfer or a nursing or allied health degree has significantly increased over the past years, causing us to schedule science labs back-to-back every weekday and during many Saturdays.”
Erpestad also noted that new natural sciences space provide immediate access to the college’s unique geography and geology. “This design allows students to connect their indoor lab work with experimentation and discovery in the natural outdoor setting,” said Erpestad.
According to Pam Elstad, dean of allied health and nursing, science labs and classrooms serving LSC’s allied health and nursing programs have been in urgent need of expansion and updating for some time. “With today’s medical technology advances, you blink and things have changed,” she said.
“The new building will provide students spacious labs with state-of-the-art technology. We will now have private training and testing rooms; critical care rooms and patient care areas. Our expanded simulation labs, which mimic clinical settings, will allow our students to be better prepared for their actual student clinical experiences.”
The $12.1 million building was funded by the 2010 State of Minnesota bonding funds. The project received State of Minnesota funding for design in 2006. The Duluth office of LHB, Inc. and Ross-Barney Architects of Chicago designed the building. Shaw-Lundquist Associates, Inc., a St. Paul-based general contractor, constructed the building and the St. Paul-based Pegasus Group provided owner’s representative services.
The building’s design, construction, and operation follow LEED standards (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), an internationally recognized green building certification system. LEED provides requirements for the use of sustainable and non-toxic materials in construction and interior design, energy-efficient heating and ventilation systems, and other specific guidelines.
Construction highlights include:
· Twenty-five roof-mounted tubular skylights, manufactured by Solatube International, transfer natural sunlight into interior spaces of the building. The skylights have a built-in diffuser which allows the user to shut-off the natural light if needed. The Health and Science building is the first MnSCU building approved to install tubular skylights.
· An accessible floor system design, raised 18 inches above a concrete slab, allows space for utilities below the floor instead of in the ceiling. This flooring system provides mechanical and electrical flexibility, and future access for renovations and conversions.
· Approximately 1,400 cubic yards of rock (equal to 1,750 tons) was excavated during construction. The landscaping around the new building recycles some of the bedrock.