As students return to campus, they’ll likely notice things look a bit different around the Great Hall.
The area was scheduled for a makeover with plans moving forward a few years ago… then the COVID-19 pandemic hit and construction stopped.
Once the project was ready to start up again, the focus shifted. “We really wanted to make it a student-centric area,” says Mary Taylor, Vice President for Operations and Finance. “The Great Hall is there, the training room is there, so students are there a lot. We started looking for ways to turn that into a more inviting space for students.”
The atrium space has been enclosed with floor-to-ceiling glass, separating it from the rest of the south corridor. “We didn't necessarily want it to be a quiet study space, but a space where students could collaborate, they could socialize,” Taylor says. “Or it could also be a study space if that's ultimately how the students wanted to spend their time there.”
Before the NEW Center was built, the area served as NEOMED’s conference center. The Great Hall was at one time a ballroom. While the area has been reconfigured to accommodate classes, there was never a full makeover of the space.
“The space needed to be updated and renovated. It needed to look more modern, feel more comfortable. And it needed to be brighter. It used to be really dark and dingy,” Taylor notes. “We wanted it to be a space that you felt comfortable being in and that you actually wanted to be in.”
The brightly colored walls in the corridor were painted according to a color scheme selected by students in a poll. The vibrant colors also match the intent of the space as an area to spark innovation and collaboration.
Finishing touches continue to be added as carpet is laid, fixtures are installed and furniture is delivered.