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Press Release for Friday, October 10, 2008

Brooks College of Health Addition Grand Opening Celebration

Contact: Joanna Norris, Assistant Director
Department of Media Relations and Events
(904) 620-2102

The University of North Florida celebrated its new addition to the Brooks College of Health today during a grand opening ceremony on campus. The $12 million, four-story addition houses classrooms and administrative office space for UNF’s School of Nursing as well as office space and exam rooms for Student Health Services.

“This new space in the Brooks College of Health enables the School of Nursing to introduce state-of-the-art technology and methods into classroom instruction,” said UNF President John A. Delaney. “It also provides superior health care to our students on campus by increasing the size of our Student Health Services.”

The bottom floor of the new addition, which opened August 25 when fall classes started, houses three classrooms and a lecture hall, while the second floor is occupied by Student Health Services. The third floor of the new addition features high-tech skills and simulation labs, while the top floor is devoted to faculty offices and conference rooms.

Student Health Services, with 11 full-time and four part-time employees, occupies the entire second floor of the College of Health addition. The department now has 8,900 square feet of space, which is nearly triple the amount they had in the Andrew Robinson Center, their home for the last 20 years. The number of exam rooms has doubled from five to 10, and the new space also has an X-ray imaging room, a lab and procedure room as well as travel health clinic.

The School of Nursing occupies the third and fourth floors of the addition, featuring a laboratory for human simulators—mannequins that are computer-programmed to react like human beings, so that their condition changes as nursing students work with them. An observation area with video equipment allows instructors to record the students’ interactions with the simulators.

The top floor of the Brooks addition houses faculty offices and conference rooms, with 36 faculty and staff occupying the new wing. There are also areas for students to congregate and relax between classes as well as meeting rooms on the third and fourth floors.

The addition is the third LEED-certified building on campus. LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. Sponsored by the U.S. Green Building Council, LEED program certification is awarded to buildings utilizing design and construction practices that significantly reduce or eliminate any negative environmental impacts.

Construction on the 37,919-square-foot Brooks College of Health addition began in June of last year. PPI Construction built the addition, Ponikvar and Associates were the architects, while Rich Elmore, coordinator of Construction Projects at UNF, served as project manager.

Not only is the University celebrating the dedication of the new Brooks addition but also the establishment of the College. UNF’s College of Health was founded in 1988. In 2006, the College became the Brooks College of Health as the result of a gift from Brooks Health System. In 2007, The College initiated two new doctoral programs, the Doctor of Nursing Practice and the Doctor of Physical Therapy.

The Brooks College of Health offers a full complement of degree programs and specialized certifications in community and public health, rehabilitation counseling, nutrition, health administration, nursing and nurse anesthesia, exercise physiology, athletic training and physical therapy.