By Cari Griggs, Senior Staff Writer
The start of the new semester marks a new beginning of one department full of students and faculty on campus. The construction site across from Meinders School of Business now is open for use for the Kramer School of Nursing.
Marvel Williamson, dean of the nursing school said the expansion was much needed.
“The first building we had was built to accommodate a maximum of 100 students,” she said. “This spring we have over 400.”
Tight conditions forced administrators to come up with unconventional settings for classes and studies before the expansion.
“We were having classes all over campus and faculty were having to share offices or even use hallways as offices,” Williamson said. “You can’t imagine the things we’ve had to do.”
The new building currently gives the school two new floors of more of everything they had before. There are more classrooms and offices to take stress off of the expanding size of classes. The labs have been updated with higher tech equipment, including computer patient simulators according to Williamson.
Students can use a new student lounge, which features computers, lounge chairs, a TV, microwave, and refrigerator, in addition to the new classrooms. Graduate students have access to reading rooms that only are for faculty and graduate students for independent study.
The third floor of the expansion remains unfinished until funds are secured in order to complete the project.
“We couldn’t afford to wait,” Williamson said. “It was getting critical that if we didn’t open now, we would have to cut back on admissions.”
According to Williamson, the third floor will take another $1.5-2 million to complete renovations. Officials plan to obtain these funds through donors and grant applications.
No date has been set to have the third floor finished. It will consist of more classrooms, labs and offices.
Nursing students are feeling the effects of the expansion in many ways according to Adrean Indolos, nursing junior. “We would often run into scheduling problems,” he said. “If we needed to go overtime to continue reviewing we were forced to leave the classroom because another class would be coming in.”
Indolos also said the expansion has helped with out of class time interaction with professors. “Before professors were sharing offices and now they each have their own which allows for more privacy and one on one time between students and professors.”
Williamson said she is thrilled about the expansion.
“Students are not sitting elbow to elbow anymore,” she said. “We are ecstatic, it’s beautiful.”
Indolos expressed a similar sentiment. “Seeing expansion gives me more piece of mind that it is a top notch program,” he said.
“Seeing its growth and gives me more motivation to just do better seeing as how the school has given us all these new amenities and invested in our learning.”