Planning Our Future, Master Facilities Plan Outlines Major Campus Changes

Over the last two years, Clarkson College strategic planning committee members worked diligently to develop a Master Facilities Plan to guide the College as it champions its long-term initiative, The Path to 150.

The effort outlines a vision for the future that will take the College to its 150-year anniversary celebration in 2038. As part of this plan, the committee and College Administrative team outlined critical goals, academic projections, institutional needs and campus improvements to guide the College as it remains dedicated to providing the best education to tomorrow’s health care leaders.

Vice President of Operations Jina Paul worked closely with College employees and administration to develop both the Master Facilities Plan and The Path to 150 initiative. “It is an exciting time here at Clarkson College,” she said. “We’re beginning to see positive changes take shape through campus renovations and the plans we set forth achieved.”

Skills & Simulation Lab

Renovations to the third floor of the main campus building began in March. The updates include an open floor plan off the elevators and the relocation of the Information Technology department to the new space by August. Additional third floor renovation plans for next summer involve classroom updates to create more versatile learning spaces.

The fourth floor renovations began in April and feature a complete overhaul of the Skills and Simulation Lab. Currently, the areas allow students to experience realistic, hands-on learning within controlled environments. Adult and infant high- fidelity mannequins enable students to practice bedside care, positioning techniques and administration of medications in real-world scenarios.

The Master Facilities Plan improvements will double the Lab's size to span the entire floor. Paul worked closely with Undergraduate Nursing Associate Professor and Skills Lab Coordinator Becky Allen, who led the Skills Lab-focused strategic planning committee, and other faculty members to ensure the essential components for student success are included in the space. “It was time to update the Skills and Simulation Lab to include the latest in technology and equipment to continue to offer students the most realistic scenarios,” said Paul. “Updates should take place within every 10 years, and the Lab was overdue.”

The College is on schedule to complete the renovations before the fall semester begins. Once finished, the Lab will consist of four fully-equipped patient exam rooms, six hospital beds with working headwalls, a nurse’s station, six exam tables, two classrooms, and a room equipped as the future home to an Anatomage table. An additional area set up as an operating room will become the floor’s third simulation space. This room will allow students to practice within a realistic surgical space, complete with hospital-grade hand washing sinks and overhead lighting. The Labs will also include a fabricated home setting and a debriefing room with video technology for students to review their techniques and improve their skills. The new Lab will offer students areas to immerse themselves in different environments and prepare them for a variety of health care experiences.

Former Clarkson Family Medicine Building

The Master Facilities Plan’s phase two involves renovating the Clarkson Family Medicine building located at Douglas and 42nd Streets. Clarkson College acquired the 16,000 square foot building adjacent to campus in March. The structure is connected to the main campus building by a walkway over 42nd Street and, until recently, was utilized as a family practice clinic. After the organization announced the clinic’s planned move to a new downtown Omaha space, the College began conceptualizing plans to utilize the building.

The finalized plans outline designs that will incorporate more versatile student and faculty spaces into the building. Three new multipurpose classrooms will be built on the second floor, and each space will act as a flexible learning environment that functions as a large lecture space or smaller, more intimate discussion rooms. Students will enjoy an open commons area and can reserve quiet rooms for group or private study. Faculty currently occupying temporary office spaces in the Residence Hall will move to the new first floor space after renovations are complete.

The Center for Teaching Excellence (CTE) will relocate from the main College building to the new building’s second floor. The remodeled area will allow CTE staff to provide hands-on training for multiple faculty at a time, and the workspace will incorporate modern technology that includes a light board and fully functional recording room. The space will provide instructors with the tools needed to offer course content that incorporates the latest learning techniques.

The Administrative team will implement the Master Facilities Plan's phase two changes in the next
year, with a completion goal of summer 2020. “The new building is the perfect location to expand our campus for much needed classroom, study
and faculty office spaces,” said Paul. “These facility updates are exciting for the College and are just the beginning of many campus future improvements to provide the best teaching and learning environments for our faculty and students.”

The College has produced the best health care providers for more than 130 years, and the Master Facilities Plan and The Path to 150 ensure that the institution will be well-equipped to provide quality health care education for generations to come.