Bridwell Hall to be renovated


Clarissa Alvarado

The future quad of the Health Science and Human Services building on March 11 after the rain.

Right now it sits in the shadow of the multi-million-dollar Dillard College of Business Administration building, built in 2006, the new $42 million health science building to be opened in 2020, and the shiny McCoy Engineer Building with its copper trim.

It’s bland.

But the Bridwell Hall will soon get a $1.1 million facelift.

Kyle Owen, associate vice president of facilities services said, “There are x-ray labs and darkrooms [in Bridwell] that when the college of education moves over there, would not do any good. Those spaces are being reconfigured for better use of the West College of Education.”

Owen said in addition to the West College of Education relocating, international student services, honors programs, and administration from the Facilities Services Office will be relocating to Bridwell.

Owen said, “They all have unique needs that may not match the floor plan that’s there. The design intention when we started this was to minimize how many walls we had to tear out or move. If an office is kind of small, so be it, we’re not moving it two inches just to be nice.”

Owen said the quad in the south side of the Health Science and Human Services building there will be four horse statues and a water fountain will be installed. The cost of the horse statues is $4.95 thousand and the cost of the fountain is unknown due to how contracts were made with the construction company.

Jackie Miller, radiologic sciences adjunct faculty, said he finds the Health Science and Human Services Building to be a great situation.

“It’s going to be great. We’ll actually have internet there that will work. We’ll have new radiology equipment that will bring us up to date with modern times,” Miller said.

Bob Comello, radiologic sciences associate professor, said the radiology department currently has equipment that is approximately 10-years-old. This sets a learning curve for students with this major because all of the technology in the hospitals is not what they are learning to use.

Comello said, “We are going to get new equipment that will bring us up to date with most of the hospitals we deal with. Right now, we have computerized radiology and we are going to switch to digital. They can go right in and not have a learning curve with the equipment, we use film screen processing. We don’t have a darkroom anymore. The readers take the cassette to read them, the new digital ones don’t need any.”

Comello said Shimadzu, the company that builds the equipment, will be sponsoring the school of radioligic sciences.

“We have our first corporate sponsor ever in the United States. We are going to be known as the Shimadzu School of Radiologic Sciences,” Comello said.

Lacy Lewelling, dental hygiene senior, said having the health sciences and human services building will benefit students due to the new technology that will be similar to what dentist offices are using in present-day.

Lewelling said, “It’s a great opportunity for our future dental hygiene majors. A lot of changes are happening, like X-rays are going to [be] digital. We now only do film and that can be difficult. Digital is more efficient. People in the program next year will be a step ahead than people that were in the program in the past. The dentist industry is evolved, here we are behind.”

As for the fountain and horses in the quad, Lewelling said they are more an aesthetic than a necessity.

It’s probably not a necessity but more as an aesthetic. That money can go for a lot more things. If that’s what they want to use the money for then I guess. It kind of sucks that we have to kind of pay for that as students, it’s coming out of our tuition. It would be beneficial to divide the money. The health sciences is an important major but that’s not to say that anyone else’s major is not important. They need to get their fair share,” said Lewelling. 

Brandy Reneau, nursing senior, said that nursing is having classes in Bolin, Dillard, and Bridwell.

“I will not get to use the building [Health Science and Human Services building] but I’ve had [classes] in this building [Bridwell], Dillard, Bolin. We’re all over the place. It would be a great thing to have all the classes together. It’s a pain, it is not fun,” Reneau said. “I don’t think it affects the everyday routine once you get used to it. Every semester you have to get used to where you are going because it’s not in the same building from start to finish.”

Reneau said she hopes the new building will have break room for students to use.

“We live in this building. This semester I am here from 10-ish to seven o’clock. I eat lunch and I eat dinner here. There’s no place for us to do that. I can’t afford to go out to eat every week, three days a week. I bring my lunch it’s kind of hard. There’s a microwave upstairs but no fridge. ”

Kara Blackman, radiology junior, said she would have liked for the school to do renovations to the Bridwell building and not build the new building.

“We could have just updated this building and not build a whole new building, but I can’t complain. This building is old, but they could have easily renovated this building,” Blackman said. “I would have loved a parking lot since that is one of our biggest issues. There is not enough parking [near the school].”

Alexis Rangel, nursing freshman, said she is excited for the building to be completed and to learn how to use the new technology.

“When my time comes, I will be able to use it. I am very excited, it’s new technology that we will get to use,” Rangel said.

Rangel said the money being used for the horse statues could have been used toward students education.

“It’s a lot of money but the school wants it. I can’t really do anything about that. I feel like that can go more towards education than the horses,” Rangel said.

Keila Valenzuela, nursing freshman, said the Health Science and Human Services building will be progressive toward the education of students in those departments.

Valenzuela said, “It is going to be worth it, because of all the people that are going to be working in the health science building and the people that graduate from it are benefitting from it in the future.”

Valenzuela said she is excited for the new building to come in place.

“I’m really excited for the new building. I heard that freshman and I think sophomores as going to be the first ones to use it [the building]. So, I am very excited to be able to use the building,” Valenzuela said.

Casey Albrikes, chemistry and biology, sophomore said he thinks the environment will be new and interesting for the majors that will be benefitting from the use of the building.

Albrikes said, “It looks like the building is going to be designed to facilitate learning in a hands-on kind of way. I’m excited to see how it turns out.”

Albrikes said students are paying for decorative items all the time so he is not concerned for the specifics of the statues.

“I’m not particularly concerned on the specificities on the statues. We pay a lot of money for decorative items on campus. We pay money for t-shirts and athletic things. I’m not too concerned on that piece,” Albrikes said. “I’m sure it’s going to be a great new addition. It’s going to raise our school spirit. I know we like to keep building things so I’m excited to see what the next step is for what we want to add to the university. “