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Health campus designed to ‘flip’ student learning

Classes begin Monday, Aug. 15, at the new $65 million campus of Pennsylvania College of Health Sciences at Greenfield Corporate Center in East Lampeter Township, Lancaster County. - (Photo / Amy Spangler)

The Pennsylvania College of Health Sciences has moved to a larger campus in Lancaster County that will allow it to attract more students and change the way they learn.

Classes are scheduled to start next week at the college’s new home at 850 Greenfield Road in the Greenfield Corporate Center in East Lampeter Township.

Fall enrollment numbers will not be released until October, but the school is anticipating its largest student body in its history, according to Stephanie Ellis, a college spokeswoman.

The college, which has more than 1,400 students and 300 staff members, has plenty of room to grow.

Flipped classrooms

Amy Spangler

The school’s new $65 million campus is made up of two buildings – one at 253,000 square feet and a second at 67,000 square feet. Inside each are classrooms, laboratories, offices, dining areas, an auditorium and workout spaces.

The money to build it came as a loan from the college’s corporate parent, Lancaster General Health/Penn Medicine.

The new campus carries out the college’s vision for a learner-centered environment. That starts with classrooms  designed to deliver education in what is called a “flipped classroom” setting.

A “flipped classroom” feature a wide array of technology and furniture that is mobile so that the room can be easily rearranged to foster collaboration instead of focusing on lectures and individual study, Ellis said.

This fall the school also will start a three-year bachelor of science in nursing program, the first of its kind in the state. Other schools offer four-year programs. A shorter program is designed to give students with a faster way to earn their degrees while borrowing less money.

Local collaboration

The new campus takes up buildings that previously served as a warehouse and office for Bosch Security.

Renovations to the buildings included the addition of a 120,000-square-foot second floor or mezzanine, as well as the installation of 10 skylights and nearly 60 windows.

Some of the local companies working on the project include High Construction and Greenfield Architects in East Lampeter Township, and Phillips Office Solutions, based in Lower Swatara Township, Dauphin County. Philadelphia-based Stantec Inc. coordinated with Greenfield Architects on developing the master plan and interior design services for the new buildings.

Construction took about 18 months, shorter than the typical 30 months to 36 months it might have taken, according to The High Companies. The shorter time frame stemmed from the communication and trust among members of the project team.

At its peak, which was between November and December 2015, the project employed an average of 170 workers per day, according to High.

“The beauty of the project is that we had a large group of people who were all extremely committed to what I call a love affair for our college,” said Mary Grace Simcox, president of the college.

Click here to view a slideshow of the new campus.

Lenay Ruhl

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