UNCW Stays True to Roots with Newest Building

Friday, September 04, 2020

As J. Marshall Crews wrote in From These Beginnings, “On September 4, 1947, at 4 p.m., Wilmington College, with seventeen faculty members, opened the doors to 238 students, seventy-five percent of whom were veterans.” Nearly 73 years later, Wilmington College is the University of North Carolina Wilmington and its continued support to those who serve is reflected in the name of its newest academic building.

Supported through the successful passage of the Connect NC Bond, UNCW broke ground on Veterans Hall in 2018 (see a time lapse of its construction here). The 145,000-square-foot facility is now open, housing the College of Health and Human Services, and is uniquely outfitted to educate the nation’s future healthcare practitioners and scientists. In addition to the CHHS programs, faculty and staff from the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry and the Office of Military Affairs occupies space in the facility supporting UNCW’s commitment to interprofessional collaboration.

“Veterans Hall is the culmination of work that began with the formation of CHHS 10 years ago,” said Charles “Charlie” Hardy, founding dean of the CHHS. “It stands as a testament to the outstanding efforts of our faculty, staff and students. With this new space comes even greater expectations as we move into the next decade of our continued journey toward ‘destination health,’ for the residents of the state of North Carolina and beyond.” 

The largest singular instructional building on campus currently, Veterans Hall leverages state-of-the-art AV technology to create numerous innovative and flexible learning environments. The backbone of this system is “AV over IP,” which uses network technology and infrastructure instead of traditional “point to point” direct lines to send audio and video signals around the building.

According to classroom technical support specialist Richard Blaylock, using AV over IP is not only more flexible but costs less than the “traditional” means of designing classrooms. Additionally, it leaves a smaller AV footprint, giving a sleek and clean installation that conserves space and lessens the noise and power consumption of the systems.

Some of the technical highlights include:

  • Five high-end active learning classrooms that can convert to classic lecture spaces
  • A distance education control room
  • Anatomy and physiology lab equipped with five virtual cadaver systems
  • A rehab lab with four TVs, three cameras, conferencing abilities and a ceiling mounted camera
  • A clinical assessment lab for social work
  • Thirty-one digital signs for messaging, launching UNCW’s new centralized digital signage system
  • Two exercise science classrooms with video capture capability on top of specially designed spaces

Information Technology Services led the design and engineering of the AV systems in the building, consulting with various stakeholders from the CHHS, the College of Arts and Sciences, the Office of Military Affairs, and the Center for Teaching Excellence in order to fully meet their needs.

— Caroline Cropp


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