Robert L. Wright, Jr. Health Sciences Center
Size: 78,300 SF
(including 2.3 million for new campus site improvements)
Photographed by Jim Roof
The trend for Georgia’s technical schools is toward more courses and hands-on training in health sciences, and the simulation of actual work environments; the goal is for graduates to ultimately staff hopsitals in the schools’ areas. For a 28-acre expansion, Columbus Technical College sought to provide students with a more traditional campus experience, in a context where existing buildings were nondescript. The architecture of this first new building establishes that timeless aesthetic with its brick and cast stone exterior and details such as column-like piers and repeating banks of mullioned windows that evoke a classic American school.
The building was also to serve as the focal point for a newly created Great Lawn, which it faces. Its glass-walled lobby appears to rise for the structure’s full three-story height, with a super-sized college logo on the interior wall that is readable from hundreds of feet away. In fact, for budgetary reasons, the three levels are separate, and viewed from inside the section of the logo on each floor functions as a wood-paneled feature wall.
High-tech functions housed in the building include a hospital simulation center with a working operating room, radiology room, trauma room and treatment/exam room. There is also a simulated nursing unit with five- to ten-bed nursing hubs that have functioning headwalls and computerized dummies. The classroom spaces are flexible in design.
Narrative by Jonathan Lerner