Designing the School of Public Health to fulfill expanding needs
The School of Public Health turns 10 this year, and we’re experiencing a growth spurt. Public health majors are booming, as students increasingly recognize the role they can play in creating healthier communities, eliminating health disparities, and improving lives worldwide.
With this influx of new students, the school is working strategically to reconfigure our physical spaces to best accommodate a range of evolving needs. Over the coming months, we ask that you please pardon the construction dust as we move into phase two of a major building renovation.
The changes will make space for the rapidly growing Public Health Science program, our newest undergraduate major, which grew from 25 to ~900 students since its 2014 launch. Because of its multidisciplinary nature, all School of Public Health departments have increased seat and course offerings to guarantee course availability for our students. The increased student population has magnified the SPH’s need for additional learning spaces and research/teaching labs to provide an interactive learning experience that aligns with UMD’s STEM goals.
This targeted renovation maximizes School of Public Health space by reconfiguring locker rooms and outdated labs into top-of-the-line learning studios, research/teaching labs, a multipurpose educational space, and the necessary office spaces and facilities to administratively support the Public Health Science program and a variety of research activities.
Phase 1 of the renovation is now complete, with the Department of Behavioral and Community Health moved into their new suite on the first floor overlooking the SPH learning concourse (ground floor). The public health science staff are moving into the old BCH space on the second floor this summer. Next, two existing locker room areas, two outdated laboratory spaces, and one outdated teaching lab on the ground floor will be transformed into five research/teaching labs and four collaborative learning studios.
As a result, the School of Public Health will no longer have publicly accessible shower facilities for students. The men’s and women’s faculty/staff locker rooms will remain intact. Day-use lockers will also remain available along the SPH Learning Concourse (ground floor near Fitness Center 0101) and on the 2nd floor near the SPH Volleyball Gym (Room 2101). You may contact Mark Brenneman, director of Academic Facilities and Operations, for more details (firstname.lastname@example.org). As always, students may use the shower facilities in the Eppley Recreation Center next door.
“As we prepare for the 10th anniversary of our school, we’re excited that part of our birthday present package is being able to improve and expand our facility,” Dean Boris Lushniak said.
Photo above right: The second phase of the SPH renovation will transform more than 10,000 square feet of underutilized and outdated locker rooms and storage space into classrooms and laboratories.