Belmont University’s McWhorter Hall—which houses the Schools of Pharmacy and Physical Therapy as well as the Department of Psychological Science—has received a Citation of Excellence Award in the national Learning By Design competition. The annual competition is sponsored by the National School Boards Association and Stratton Publishing and Marketing, Inc.
McWhorter Hall is one of 11 Citations of Excellence Award winners that were deemed the best in the nation by a recognized panel of architects and educational facility specialists. This facility and the other 10 winners will be published in the 20th Anniversary Spring 2011 edition of Learning By Design. Winners were chosen on the basis of innovative design and design excellence.
The academic building, designed by Earl Swensson Associates, Inc. (ESa), maintains the historical architectural style prevalent on the Belmont campus, while containing innovation for which the university has become known. Experiential learning spaces include a sophisticated, licensed campus pharmacy and a clinic that provide services to students, faculty and staff. Interdisciplinary simulation labs add futuristic dimensions to the programs taught within the facility.
New 90,000 square foot, state-of-the-art academic building houses Schools of Pharmacy and Physical Therapy, Department of Psychological Science
Belmont University celebrated the grand opening of the new 90,000 square foot McWhorter Hall at a ribbon cutting event held on campus this morning. The state-of-the-art academic building houses the Schools of Pharmacy and Physical Therapy, as well as the Department of Psychological Science.
McWhorter Hall is being named in honor of Belmont Trustee Emeritus and Chairman of Clayton Associates, Clayton McWhorter, and his brother, the late pharmacist Fred McWhorter. Both men dedicated their careers to the healthcare field, making a difference in the lives of countless individuals and championing healthcare reform. In addition to his longtime relationship with the University and his work on the School of Pharmacy’s initial Study Team and External Advisory Committee, Clayton is also providing a major leadership gift in support of Belmont’s new academic building.
Belmont President Dr. Bob Fisher said, “This building is a model, 21st century academic facility that will provide the perfect space and environment where our students and faculty can intersect in service to help meet the medical needs of our community and our world. We are honored to have the McWhorter name on the building, knowing that it will endow this space with a legacy of compassionate, professional care for others that our students will be equipped to emulate.”
Clayton McWhorter added, “My brother Fred practiced pharmacy like it should be practiced and stayed true to his profession for more than 50 years, loving every minute of it. I believe he would be honored to have this building bear the McWhorter name, but I’m even more hopeful that the student pharmacists and other health care specialists learning within these walls will look to my brother as a premier model of their profession.”
Pharmacy Care Center, Health Services Center, Drug Information Center and Pharmacy Labs
Designed by Earl Swensson Associates with construction by R.C. Mathews, McWhorter Hall continues the innovation for which Belmont University has become known. The facility will emphasize integrated, “hands on” experiential learning components including a licensed, state-of-the-art Pharmacy Care Center which will provide services to students, faculty and staff while also serving as a training site for student pharmacists. This first floor “living laboratory,” which is located adjacent to Belmont’s expanded Health Services center, will help student pharmacists learn every aspect of opening and running a retail pharmacy business. Clients of the pharmacy will be offered personal service in a managed care environment.
The second floor of McWhorter Hall also offers numerous spaces to serve pharmacy students’ needs. In the pharmacy lab, student pharmacists will be making various pharmaceutical products (ointments, powders, creams, etc.), while the Drug Information Center serves the faculty and student pharmacists with a state-of-the-art area to search, assimilate, and transfer information to health care providers that is up to date and patient specific. The center also provides educational programs for post graduate pharmacists from area hospitals. Pharmacy faculty laboratories in the building provide over 5,500 square feet for discovery, innovation and education. Faculty will immediately begin work on projects providing safer, better pharmaceuticals and insight and treatment approaches for various central nervous system diseases, human cell malformations and cancers, therapies for the eye, and improved formulations for pharmaceuticals.
Dr. Phil Johnston, dean of the School of Pharmacy, said, “This new facility is a dream come true for Belmont University, our faculty and for our student pharmacists. It is a privilege to work in this environment and with these bright young professional people. Here, we are able to provide a top notch educational program that prepares student pharmacists to succeed in the world of pharmacy.”
Additional Lab Spaces for Interdisciplinary Education
Also housed within McWhorter Hall are a variety of laboratory spaces dedicated to permitting research and educating future occupational therapists (OT) and physical therapists (PT). Specifically, the first floor is a joint OT/PT Health and Wellness Lab that contains state-of-the art research equipment that spans balance assessment, strength (torque) evaluation, driving simulation, virtual reality exercise activities, work simulation and whole body vibration. The second floor is a joint Human Performance Lab I, with work hardening equipment and the facilities needed to teach a variety of hands-on classes. The third floor contains the Human Performance Lab II, a joint lab space designed for instruction and hands-on evaluation and treatment activities.
In anticipation of an August 21 grand opening, Belmont University recently completed the installation of a green roof on its new 90,000-square-foot academic building. The building will serve as the home for Belmont’s School of Pharmacy, a program which welcomes its third class this fall, and will also house the School of Physical Therapy and the Psychology program.
The only large extensive green roof on an educational facility in Nashville, the green roof serves several purposes including a reduction in the “heat island effect,” which refers to the trend of generally higher temperatures in urban areas as opposed to more suburban areas. The green roof lowers air temperatures which helps reduce that effect. Green roofs also provide natural habitats for wildlife (birds, insects, etc.) and reduce pollution by holding pollutants rather than washing into groundwater, sewer or drainage systems. In addition, the green roof can retain some rainwater for irrigation and can reduce the heating/cooling costs by providing lower temperatures around air intake systems.
Judy Fisher, Belmont’s campus-wide coordinator of interior construction and exterior landscaping/lighting, oversaw the project and selected the plants that would be installed. “This green roof represents another significant step in Belmont University’s commitment to environmentally sustainable practices. I’m so proud that Belmont’s innovations extend from classroom practices all the way to the very materials we use to construct our campus.”
Local firm Hodgson & Douglas provided the landscape architectural design for the green roof. Landscape architect Joe Hodgson said, “The green roof was developed using planting that might commonly be found in a middle Tennessee cedar glade. All the plants are native and easily adaptive to the type of soil found on an extensive green roof.”
Ceremony celebrates completion of $30 million building’s frame
Nearly one year after breaking ground, Belmont University today celebrated the “topping out” its new $30 million health sciences building, which will serve as the future home for the School of Pharmacy, a Belmont program which welcomed its second class this fall. The building, which has an anticipated completion date of June 2010, will also house the School of Physical Therapy and will include expansion space for the Schools of Nursing and Occupational Therapy as well as the Social Work and Psychology programs. (Click here to view a photo of gallery of today’s event.)
Belmont President Dr. Bob Fisher said, “In addition to providing a time to celebrate and thank all the workers behind this immense project, a topping out is also a time to look forward to when this structure is complete. This building will be a model, 21st century academic facility, providing a venue where our students and faculty resources can intersect in service to help meet the medical needs of our community and our world.”
Designed by Earl Swensson Associates with construction by R.C. Mathews, the 90,000-square-foot building will continue the innovation for which Belmont University has become known, containing top-notch laboratories. The facility will emphasize integrated, “hands on” experiential learning components including a licensed, state-of-the-art campus pharmacy which will provide services to students, faculty and staff while also serving as a training site for student pharmacists. Of special note are the simulation labs, where students and community clinicians can practice skills either on actors who simulate patients or on high tech manikins; this simulation suite is interdisciplinary, and programs will be encouraged to work in simulated scenarios that involve several health disciplines. In addition, faculty will have sophisticated research labs set aside for research studies, and students will be able to assist in these studies.
Dr. Jack Williams, dean of Belmont’s College of Health Sciences and Nursing, said, “Together with the Gordon E. Inman Center, this new structure will unite Belmont’s health science studies in one strategic location on campus. By completing and enhancing our health sciences complex, the university is providing inter-professional education opportunities for all of our health science students and preparing them to be both competent and compassionate practitioners.”
An 11-member team of Belmont University students and faculty are serving rehabilitation hospitals in Guatemala over Spring Break. The group is working to provide physical and occupational therapy to the needs of the local hospital as well as train the hospital staff in up-to-date knowledge and treatment techniques. The students will also have the opportunity to visit a local school and inspire students to pursue health professional goals. To read a blog of the students’ activities this week, click here.