HERA lab planners

Sampson Hall at Stephens College

In conjunction with the College’s 183rd birthday, Stephens College in Columbia is celebrating the grand opening of the Center for Health Sciences. The four-level, 1940s Sampson Hall has been renovated and expanded into a 23,500 SF state-of-the-art home for their new Physician Assistant Studies program.

The renovation, led by Mackey Mitchell Architects with HERA laboratory planners and Ross & Baruzzini, includes a complete interior demolition and abatement with a new illuminated entry addition, which provides a landmark for this reinvigorated section of campus. The new, dynamic interior supports Stephen’s problem-based learning pedagogy and creates spaces that promote student collaboration in every corner. The flexible floor plan includes a 1,900 SF multi-purpose area that that can be separated with the moveable wall partition to accommodate 30 students each side. There are break-out spaces to provide more focused collaboration among the students.

After completing feasibility studies for several prospective sites, HERA laboratory planners programmed, planned and provided concept design for the cutting-edge laboratory spaces, which include a seven-table anatomy lab, a physician assistant lab, a hospital room and four exam rooms. The labs provide opportunities for simulation and hands-on learning of clinical skills.

Students, alumni and staff were thrilled with the renovated facility during the grand opening celebration. Stephens College President Dianne Lynch called the facility a “game changer,” and said it was “one of the most ambitious initiatives in the history of the College.”

Erin Martin, Class of 2019 and one of many students in attendance, said: “Everyone is just blown away at how much thought and effort was put in by the faculty and designers to make sure we have everything we need.”

The project is a keystone of Stephens College’s overall plan to increase emphasis on science and math and to increase its enrollment for undergraduate students. The 2016 introductory class of the Physician Assistant Studies program has already begun taking classes in the new Sampson Hall.