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Building 60 on the Veterans Affairs Medical Center campus undergoes transformation from its historic days of the VA’s fire brigade, to a top-of-the-line interprofessional education building that includes four floors of simulation laboratories, research space, classrooms, conference rooms, student study space, a food service area and administrative offices. Dr. Wilsie Bishop, ETSU’s vice president for health affairs and chief operating officer, describes the symbol of the building: “We’ve been national leaders in interprofessional education since the early 1990s and felt like if we could have a building where all of our students could come together, we’d be putting a physical symbol on a philosophy we’ve been living for decades.”
The ETSU Interprofessional Education and Research Center (Building 60) represents a unique architectural expression balancing the historical character of the Veterans Administration campus and the latest technology in interdisciplinary health care education. The original structure, built around 1908, was originally used as a commissary to store goods brought to the campus of the Veterans Administration by railroad. The building has been in continuous use as a storage and support facility until 2016 when construction will begin to convert the building into an occupied part of the ETSU medical education campus. The exterior of the building will be restored to match its historic appearance with new doors and windows, while the interior will be a mix of authentic historic and new high-tech space. The existing historic center stair will be reused, but clad in new light colored layered finishes to accentuate both old and new, as well as a new hospital-size elevator. New fire stairs will be constructed for safety at the east and west ends of the building.
Part of the historic basement will be renovated and excavated to create a new 90 person lecture hall, featuring new interior windows in the historic archways connecting the south lobby area. Maintaining the exterior ramp of stone setts on the east end (built for horse traffic), the historic exterior wooden basement door will now open onto a reconstructed stone path connecting to a new student group study area on the north side (formerly the horse stables). The historic rail platform above the study area will be rebuilt with new a steel and concrete structure with insulated waterproofing system. A new student lounge area with food service will be created at the new south entry from the rebuilt rail platform. The historic office and support spaces on the south side of the main level will be converted into college administrative offices, maintaining the original plaster coves and restoring the transom doors and historic trim profiles. New offices will be built in the formerly open storage spaces on the main level with a more rustic appearance accentuating the historic exposed brick and wood columns and beams. The second level will house a new simulated outpatient medical clinic in the east wing with simulated pharmacy to be built near the center.
Also on the second level is a simulated dwelling for learning programs related to activities of daily living (ADL). Under the historic roof mansard at level 3, a multipurpose room with skills bays will be used for simulated post-operatory and hospital room training. Adjacent will be a simulated compounding pharmacy. A flexible four bay high fidelity simulated surgery suite with tech support space will occupy the east wing. Commons spaces, conference rooms and meeting rooms occupy portions of every floor to maximize opportunities for interprofessional interactions and building of new relationships as students in all areas of the medical professions now have the opportunity to learn to problem-solve together.