Construction on the Intellectual Commons to begin next year

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    Next year's renovation of the Intellectual Commons will eliminate the issue of shortages in study spaces, seating areas and clasrooms in the Bass Building and Mary Couts Burnett Library, June Koelker, dean of the library, said.

    Two new buildings are planned for construction next year, Dean of Harris College of Nursing and Health Sciences Paulette Burns said.

    The Intellectual Commons is the area on the east side of campus between the library, Smith Hall, Bass Building and the Tucker Technology Center.

    Renovations for the Intellectual Commons are part of the Vision in Action plan, a 7-year campus-wide effort to improve buildings and academic programs.

    Library Administrative Services plans to have the groundbreaking for one new building in March 2013, Director of Library Administrative Services James Lutz said.

    It will be attached to the east side of the library, where there is currently a commuter parking lot, and will contain more academic classrooms, group study rooms and general seating, he said.

    "Searching for a spot will become a less time-consuming endeavor with the addition to the library," Koelker said.

    The College of Nursing and Health Sciences also planned to receive a makeover in March 2013, including the construction of an additional academic building and a study atrium connected to the Bass Building, Burns said.

    The second floor of the Bass Building also will be completely dedicated to health profession simulation laboratories, she said.

    The laboratories will include everything from realistic simulation hospital rooms to lifelike mannequins that have heart rates and blood pressure, she said.

    The goal of the renovations is to promote medical studies by creating a work environment in which students can gain experience, Burns said.

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