The 2000 fall semester marked the first time in its 94-year history that the University of Kansas School of Nursing could house students, faculty, researchers and staff under one roof. To make way for this new structure, two buildings, previously occupied by the School of Nursing, were razed. The new facility is linked to three adjacent buildings on the Medical Center ASSOCIATED FIRMHKS, Inc.COST PER SQ FT$105.06FEATURED IN2001 Architectural Portfolio and provides opportunities for students of nursing, medicine and allied-health fields to learn and practice clinical skills together.
A light-filled atrium joins all six levels of the new facility. It offers many innovations including a multidisciplinary clinical learning laboratory, which can be divided into five teaching areas by using movable walls. In the clinical learning laboratory, students practice caregiving skills in a variety of flexible simulated clinical settings such as an intensive care unit, medical-surgical unit, and maternity and home-care settings.
Adjacent to the skills lab are 10 exam rooms where students work with patient actors in realistic clinical situations. The building also is equipped with computers and interactive television equipment, enabling nursing faculty to interact with students and colleagues across the country and around the world.
In addition to these clinical practice settings, the facility houses classrooms equipped for distance learning as well as multimedia presentations, three open informal study nooks, or kivas, a 200-seat auditorium, seminar rooms, research labs, administrative and faculty offices. The top floor is dedicated to a conference center that will host continuing-education events for the entire medical center.
The facility uses a variable-air-volume mechanical system with air-handling units on each floor; it is fed with steam and chilled water from the campus central plant.
All voice and telecommunications cabling is distributed through a system of cable trays terminating in communications rooms on each floor. To maximize efficiency and ease future system modifications, the communications rooms are stacked vertically.