BRIDGEPORT, Conn. — Sacred Heart University officially opened its new Center for Healthcare Education on Friday, ushering in a new era of state-of-the-art experiential learning for students in its nursing and health professions programs.
“This building is extraordinary, don’t you think?” said Mary Alice Donius, dean of the College of Nursing.
Set on a hill just down Park Avenue from SHU’s main Fairfield campus, the 120,000-square-foot center sits on 8.7 acres that were the former home to a fitness center and, before that, the Italian Community Center.
The three-story building houses both teaching classrooms and labs and interprofessional services to benefit patients from the community, including an audiology suite, motion analysis and human performance labs, a driving simulator and a pediatrics clinic.
The labs and classrooms were designed to support team-based learning and feature acute care simulation labs, a simulated outpatient suite, a home-case suite, an expanded human anatomy lab and enhanced exercise science and athletic training facilities.
Both Donius and Patricia Walker, dean of the College of Health Professions, said the building represents SHU’s growing reputation for excellence in the health fields.
SHU President John Petillo said he was pleased to be able to offer students and faculty such a modern facility.
“It’s the people here that will make the difference,” he said.
The school broke ground on the new facility in June 2015 and students have been attending classes there this fall.
Rebecca Lee, the president of the Student Nurses Association who will only have two semesters in the building before her graduation, had a message for freshmen.
“This may sound strange, but I’m so jealous,” she said.
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