Construction soon to begin on major new campus landmark
Something extraordinary is about to happen at the north end of Loma Linda’s campus.
Where Gentry Gym now stands, a stunning new multistory building—the Centennial Complex—is soon to rise as a major hub of teaching and learning.
As one of the most enduring legacies to mark Loma Linda’s centennial year—spanning 2005 and 2006—the Centennial Complex will provide urgently needed classrooms, laboratories, faculty offices, and other state-of-the-art educational facilities for students in all schools of Loma Linda University.
Beginning with this issue of TODAY and continuing through the completion of construction, this column will provide information on all aspects of the new complex and report on both fund-raising and construction progress.
Loma Linda’s growth momentum—realistic estimates are that by 2010, University enrollment will pass 5,000 students—has outpaced its resources and infrastructure. The new facility will help meet a critical need. But the Centennial Complex will be far more than just bricks and mortar, steel, and glass. It will have a profound and transforming effect on how the University’s students learn, how its faculty teaches, and how Loma Linda fulfills its twin teaching and healing missions into its second century.
Key elements of the new complex will include:
• Classrooms and laboratories. Unlike any previous classrooms and labs on campus, these new “smart” classrooms and labs will be leading edge—built for the high-tech present and future. Students will have full wireless Internet connectivity. Faculty presentations will be broadcast by satellite or Internet to locations around the globe or distributed by DVD or CD-ROM.
• Anatomy Pavilion. The present 1936 anatomy facility was built to accommodate only 100 students. Today, hundreds of students study anatomy in the various schools of the University. The new pavilion will offer 100 workstations, each accommodating three to six students. Students will use computer screens to display high-resolution images of anatomical structures and dissection techniques.
• Educational Technology Center. The “nerve center” of the complex, this center will house the various technologies—computer, audio, video, and robotics—connecting students and faculty both on campus, regionally, and worldwide. As technology advances, the center will make possible such innovations as telemedicine consultations, remote learning, worldwide continuing medical education, and surgery demonstrations.
• Skills and Assessment Center. In this center, students will practice and learn from simulated interaction with trained, “standardized” patients. In real exam rooms, they will practice their diagnostic and treatment skills and receive immediate feedback from qualified observers as well as the trained patients. Built-in audio, video, and computer equipment in each room will make possible student self-evaluation. Students can review their interactions as many times as desired to identify their clinical and relational strengths and weaknesses or to consider other possible approaches.
• Amphitheater Center. Two large amphitheaters—one seating 250 students, the other 350—will be located adjacent to the classrooms and laboratories. Uses will include regularly scheduled classes, continuing education courses, seminars, and other programs. Linked to the Complex’s Technology Center, these amphitheaters will offer full multimedia capability. The smaller of the two amphitheaters will feature conference-style seating. The larger amphitheater will be the largest such facility on campus, making possible the meeting together of multiple classes and groups.
A campaign to raise $40 million to fund the Centennial Complex was announced in February of 2005. In upcoming issues, this column will report on progress of this campaign and introduce its leadership. As of this issue, however, those involved in this challenge are pleased to report that $30.9 million of the total has been given or pledged.
Interested readers may wish to visit the Centennial Complex website at <www.llu.edu/centennial/complex>. Click on the “Construction Live Cam” link to see a real-time view of the removal of Gentry Gym (to be reconstructed on property owned by the Loma Linda Spanish Church on New Jersey Street) and the construction of the new complex.