Recently, the Center of Healthcare Education at Sacred Heart University (SHU), a 117,000 square foot, $45 million project designed by The S/L/A/M Collaborative (SLAM) broke ground. Recognizing a need for a new facility due to a great demand for SHU’s highly publicized health professions programs, SLAM provided design, cost estimating, structural engineering, landscape architecture, programming and planning in order to create the necessary teaching space for current and projected enrollment, experiential learning and inter-disciplinary collaboration between departments.
The new facility will offer state-of-the-art simulation labs, immersive learning environments, educational spaces as well as clinic space to serve their programs of Nursing, Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Speech and Language Pathology, and Health Sciences all consolidated into one location. In addition, SLAM also designed a new 300-car parking garage for the main University campus in Fairfield.
The new facility has an increased space of teaching labs, clinical /skills labs, a simulation suite, theater-style learning classrooms, a dining hall, an Interprofessional Outpatient Clinic, increased supporting classroom and office space to accommodate personnel projections, and study and social space. “The new Center for Healthcare Education takes a huge leap forward in the use of cutting edge simulation technologies and experiential learning in all areas to improve the learning outcomes of the health professions students”, says Richard Herzer, SLAM principal and the project’s lead designer. “At the same time, the design complements high technology with a range of informal study and social spaces throughout the three visually connected floors to promote personal choice and individual academic success in these highly skilled, highly technical fields. Think Luke Skywalker getting to wear his favorite jeans.”
In order to have better visibility and accessibility to the public, the new facility will relocate the Interprofessional Outpatient Therapy Clinic located on the main campus. Through SLAM’S efforts, the project will create a new home for the college of health professions and nursing programs whose departments are currently distributed among several facilities across Sacred Heart University’s Campus.