Medical students settle into new Allied Health building


Annette Meza

The Allied health center is now open for use and has been since Oct. 14. Here, surgical technology, nursing, respiratory therapy and medical laboratory technology students are taught. Originally, the programs were held at the Epsworth center across town. The building was less spacious and was also getting too much to maintain at a economical level.

The Allied Health building officially opened on Oct. 14 with most of the programs finally settling in halfway through the semester. Originally, it was supposed to open in August for the start of fall classes, but construction fell behind due to poor weather conditions from last December to February of this year.

“We are all really excited about being in the new building. I worked at the Epworth building for over 27 years, and it’s just fantastic that I can now walk out the door and walk across the street where I don’t have to think about the time to travel, where to park or getting in and out of meetings,” Suzanne Campbell, dean of Allied Health, said.

Originally, the programs now located in the Allied Health building were located at the Epworth Center behind the post office downtown. The distance made it hard for faculty and students to easily access the resources students at the college’s main campus had.

Slide back and forth to see campus before and after the new building:

“The major difference it makes is that we’re closer to the main campus, so we have all the resources that regular students have now,” Caroline Garcia, a freshman majoring in respiratory therapy from Liberal, said.

It wasn’t just the distance from the Epworth Center to the main campus, but also the poor layout of the building that presented problems for students and faculty.

“It’s really nice now. Here, they have added extension chords where all our tables are at and we have more room to move,” Nohemi Hernandez, a freshmen majoring in respiratory therapy from Liberal, said.

The Epworth Center was also getting older and more expensive to maintain.

“The age of the building was getting to a bad place from an economical standpoint as far as utilities go, and our clinical simulation center was parceled. We would work wherever we had a space, and our clinical simulation units are vital for student learning, so we felt like we just needed a true dedicated space,” Campbell said.

Students think the new building was worth the wait.

“I like the new building a lot, because we have a bigger room. Before, we were in a smaller room, and the bathrooms were small too, but now everything is bigger, everything is better, everything is newer and it works,” Garcia said.

Scroll or drag the image to get a 360 view of inside the Allied Health Building: