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Wednesday, July 08, 2009 - OU board approves design for state-of-the-art human health building
The Oakland University Board of Trustees approved schematic design plans for a 160,000-square-foot Human Health Building to be located on the northwest corner of the university’s 1,441-acre campus.

The $62 million facility, targeted for completion in 2012, will become the new home of OU’s School of Nursing and School of Health Sciences. Offering highly acclaimed and steadily expanding academic programs, both schools have outgrown their current facilities due to rapid student enrollment gains in recent years.

The new building, a five-story structure designed by architects with the Detroit office of SmithGroup, will enable both schools to enhance their respective learning environments by coordinating the multidisciplinary expertise of academic and clinical faculty under a single roof. It will also welcome students to state-of-the-art classrooms, seminar rooms, an interactive media center, physical therapy clinics and clinical, computer, simulation and distance learning labs.

“Oakland University’s faculty and staff have built a superb array of programs in the field of health care, and our students have opened doors to promising career opportunities by excelling in them,” said University President Gary Russi. “By incorporating the most advanced thinking in classroom design and technology in the Human Health Building, we will bring our commitment to excellence full circle. Every aspect of the educational experience we offer in nursing and health sciences will be the best students can find here in Michigan and beyond.”

The facilities and technology used to support both classroom and clinical education will replicate amenities found in modern hospital and community-based health care settings. This will not only enhance Oakland’s “hands-on” approach to the teaching and learning of patient care methodology, but enable the university to expand research initiatives and educational partnerships with hospitals and other health care organizations throughout the region.

As part of Michigan’s 2008 Capital Outlay Budget, Oakland University will receive $40 million in state funding to support construction of the new building. The remaining $22 million in anticipated costs, along with roughly $11 million in related infrastructure and technology improvements, will be financed through the issuance of university general revenue bonds.

Planned construction of the Human Health Building extends a trend of rapid campus expansion that has included the addition of four academic buildings within the last 13 years. During that time, the university has seen total student enrollment grow by roughly 80 percent.