University of Arkansas - Epley Center for Health Professions
The Eleanor Mann School of Nursing at the University of Arkansas (U of A) was experiencing rapid growth but was housed in an aged 20,000 sf building. In addition, the University’s speech and hearing clinic faced a similar situation – facilities that were substandard and too small for a growing program.
Working in collaboration with Childers Architects, SmithGroup began the project as a simple reskinning and renovation. But a careful study by SmithGroup’s programming and planning team revealed that solely renovating the space would be grossly inadequate. Working with user groups from both the nursing department as well as the hearing and speech clinic, SmithGroup programmed, planned, and received approval from university administration to double the size of the building. The additional 20,000 sf provided the necessary space to house both programs in an efficient and functional way.
A central corridor bisects the building into two distinct parts. One half of the bottom floor accommodates classrooms for the nursing school while the other houses the speech and hearing clinic. The second floor houses high fidelity labs as well as faculty offices.
The result is a facility sized to be flexible for the University’s growing health professions program, a facility designed with state of the art technology to best train today’s health science professionals, and an attractive facility the University can use to recruit new students well into the future.