MILWAUKEE — The University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh celebrated the opening of the university’s newly renovated Clow Social Science Center — home to the College of Nursing and College of Letters and Science — during a dedication ceremony held May 13.
The 140,100-square-foot building underwent a $26 million overhaul, adding a state-of-the-art simulation suite and laboratories, technology-rich classrooms and lecture halls, welcoming gathering spaces and an updated faculty office building. The upgrades were the first significant improvements made to the building since its construction in 1966.
Kahler Slater, with offices in Milwaukee and Madison, Wis., was the architecture firm of record, providing planning, architecture and interior design services. The general contractor was Miron Construction Co. Inc., with a head office in Neenah, Wis.
Among the facility’s notable space, the 3,260-square-foot simulation suite will allow nursing students to gain hands-on experience working in environments that closely mimic those in which they will ultimately practice. Replica hospital spaces — including an inpatient room and a large space that can serve as a single trauma room or two exam rooms — are outfitted with equipment, furnishings and other features similar to those found in area hospitals. A simulation apartment will allow students to practice providing in-home and hospice care. Across the hall are two debriefing rooms where students and faculty can review their performance and progress.
Additionally, a new psychology lab will provide expanded research opportunities, while a foreign language instructional drop-in lab will enable students to study at their convenience. New active learning classrooms will facilitate collaboration among students and faculty, while numerous gathering spaces — from the atrium furnished with tables and comfortable seating to a window bench looking into the simulation center — will encourage interaction and spontaneous meetings.
All classrooms are equipped with modern technology such as touchpad controls for lighting and audio-visual equipment and electrical outlets at each seat in the lecture halls to accommodate student laptops. The original steeply raked lecture “pits” have been replaced by wheelchair-accessible spaces. The center’s faculty office building has also been updated with remodeled conference spaces and new lighting, plumbing fixtures, flooring, paint and ceilings.
Clow Social Science Center is located in a busy part of the campus, along a pedestrian mall that leads to two neighboring buildings. As such, the building’s main entrance was reconfigured to offer better circulation around and into the building and to provide a dynamic connection between the interior and exterior.
The building has been designed to USGBC LEED Silver standards.