Academic Building 8 open for health
Published: Tuesday, January 10, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, January 11, 2012 00:01
An intensive care unit, a delivery room and operating room are some of the spaces that can be found in a hospital and are now simulated in FGCU's new Health Sciences building.
Academic Building 8 received its finishing touches on Friday, just in time for the first day of classes.
"All the new equipment will allow the students to get a good handle of how to use it before the real world," said Michael Kaplan, a doctoral student of physical therapy. "From where we were, it has just been upgraded a million percent."
The building barely came to be after FGCU was faced with the challenge of how to furnish the classrooms and labs when an expected $17 million in construction for Southwest Florida's higher education institutions was vetoed by Gov. Rick Scott.
Though the state provided $23.5 million for the project, it was just enough to finish construction, not furnish the classrooms and labs.
After scrambling to make cuts and postpone other projects on campus, such as installing more solar panels and creating a south access road to campus, President Wilson Bradshaw announced that the building would be furnished and would open on time for the spring semester.
The $4.5 million needed to finish the building was just part of the $17 million Scott had vetoed that was expected to go toward funding the higher education institutions of Southwest Florida.
"It is long needed. We have a room in the cadaver lab," said Josh Lewis, a doctoral student of physical therapy. "There's a lot more room, and we are not all over each other."
This building includes unrivaled and state-of- the art features, such as environmentally friendly water fountains and a NASA-developed anti-gravity treadmill, only the second in all of Florida's state universities. AB 8 even includes classrooms with apartments built in to teach occupational therapy students how to help their patients resume their normal day-to-day activities.
"It'll help bring more students to the programs and give more opportunity for research," Kaplan said.