The final renovation project of the Facing Forward campaign is underway. The campaign was designed to raise $24.5 million, which was used to build the now-erected Bishop Gerber Science Center and is now being used for final renovations to the existing Eck Hall on Newman campus.
A former anatomy lab in Eck that moved to the new science center will soon become a Radiologic Technology Program classroom and lab.
The new classroom will provide a larger space for study and learning along with new technology.
Radiologic Technology Program Director Jeffery Vaughn said he is excited about the new classroom.
"In our old classroom in Heimerman, we had an X-ray machine that used film, but was from the 1980s and was non-functional," said Vaughn. "The new classroom will have an energized lab, meaning that we can actually make radiology exposures of phantom (anatomical model) patients using updated digital radiography (DR) equipment. It is going to be awesome!
"We will have new audiovisual technology as well. By having an energized lab, we will be able to show students the correct positioning of patients through the images that we can take with the phantom patients, as well as the physics of how the images are obtained. We will also be able to show them how to make adjustments based on the patient’s condition and other factors."
The new radiology classroom will not be available for use until the end of October so the current students are using a temporary classroom in the new Bishop Gerber Science Center.
"It has taken a little getting used to," Vaughn explained. "Even today I had a student say, 'When we get back to the classroom,' and they were sitting in the classroom. They were thinking about Heimerman. This past summer we were using a classroom in Eck and that was a step up in technology from what we had before when we were wheeling in a cart with the laptop and projector on it and using an extension cord for power. So the faculty and students are excited about the change."
The Eck Hall renovation will include the construction of high-tech radiologic technology labs, nursing labs and respiratory care labs. Demolition of the space began on Aug. 25 and the complete remodel should be finished by the end of September.