The University of Washington is constructing a new kind of learning space on our south campus—one that invites collaboration, creativity and community among students from the UW's six health sciences schools.
The new Health Sciences Education Building, slated to open in May 2022, will be in the heart of south campus along Pacific Avenue. The 4-story, 110,000-square-foot building is designed to be a hub for students in public health, dentistry, medicine, nursing, pharmacy and social work.
The building’s exterior will feature light-reflecting glass and metal surfaces, a courtyard and terrace. But what’s most striking is on the inside: an array of spaces—from large classrooms to small break-out rooms to labs—dedicated to active learning.
A space for collaboration
Classrooms will feature mobile tables and chairs that swivel to make it easier for students to converse with their neighbors. Multiple projection screens and whiteboards will be positioned around larger rooms.
The building will also feature an anatomy lab and “skills lab suite” where students across different programs can participate in clinical simulations and practice working toward common goals.
“Unlike a typical lecture hall with fixed, tiered seating, and maybe one screen that not everyone can see well, these classrooms are flexible, modern and designed for a multidirectional flow of information,” said Hilary Godwin, dean of the UW School of Public Health.
“To address the huge problems we’re facing as a society, like the opioid crisis, you have to be able to collaborate with all kinds of people," Godwin said. "If you don’t train students how to do this now, then they won’t be prepared for success in the workforce.”
Seeking additional donors
Designing a student-centered building that serves the needs of all the health sciences requires a lot of planning—including input from faculty, staff and students—as well as funding.
The state Legislature invested $70 million in the $100 million project.
"Ensuring that UW health sciences students have access to state-of-the-art interdisciplinary training facilities is critical to our state’s health care workforce pipeline,” said Sen. David Frockt (D-Seattle).
The university is seeking to raise an additional $30 million in gifts from the community. Opportunities are available for naming spaces in the building after a loved one.
To learn more about supporting the new building and opportunities for recognition through naming a space, please contact Megan Ingram, assistant dean for advancement at the UW School of Public Health, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 206-616-7197.