Metropolitan Community College set out to bring together a variety of health sciences programs, campus thought leaders and local health care providers by creating a new Health Sciences Institute in an existing commercial office building. Serving as the health sciences education architect, Kahler Slater in partnership with local firm Gould Evans, MCC-Penn Valley created an experience that has become a national benchmark for community colleges and boasts simulation facilities that rival a university setting.
The project was particularly unique due to the complexities of transforming the existing office building into a state-of-the-art educational environment for training tomorrow’s health care workforce. A major goal of the planning and design team was to open up the building, allowing for transparency and visibility into the various program areas in order to promote interdisciplinary interaction and cross-interest. The program includes a Virtual Hospital which has various rooms such as ER and ICU as well as specific hands-on simulation labs for dental education, EMS, nursing, home health, OTA/PTA, radiology and surgery.
The Institute is a regional destination for continuing education for nurses and other health professionals. The building has increased outreach to future potential health professionals and it has allowed for enhanced partnerships with 4-year institutions, local health care entities and the community.
“Our facility exceeded our original expectations. We have had an increase in student enrollment because the building design supports hands-on, interactive and engaged learning.”
Sandy McIlnay, Director of Health Sciences