North Park Campus Facilities, Landscaping Improved During Summer Months

Sohlberg Hall improvements

Design and site work initiated for planned Science and Community Life Building

CHICAGO — (August 18, 2011) As students, faculty, and staff return to the North Park University campus for the 2011-2012 academic year they will see some impressive physical improvements to buildings and campus landscaping.

Significant projects include renovations inside and outside of Sohlberg Hall, including transplanting of large Norway spruce trees around it from the site of the anticipated new Science and Community Life Building, and construction of a simulation laboratory for the School of Nursing adjacent to the Health and Counseling Center on north side of the campus on Foster Avenue.

In addition, architects and consultants have been working to establish design parameters for science labs and research spaces in the planned Science and Community Life Building, wrote Dr. David L. Parkyn, North Park president, in a July 1 communication to the University. Science faculty members are assisting them, and designs are being developed for each floor. Other activities related to site preparation included site borings, civil engineering surveys, and utility assessments, he wrote.

The proposed science and community life building is part of Campaign North Park, a fund raising effort for the new building, the University’s Annual Fund, scholarships, and support for Chicago-based academic programs and faculty development. The anticipated building site is on the north side of the central green space.

Sohlberg Hall has undergone considerable work inside and outside, said Carl Balsam, executive vice president and chief financial officer. The building’s entry lounge has been refurbished, and living spaces have been repainted and re-carpeted, he said. Doors have been replaced and keyless, ID-operated electronic locks have been installed, Balsam said.

Landscaping around Sohlberg has been improved, including new entry steps and new plantings. Four large trees were moved to the Sohlberg building from an area labeled by administrators some years ago as a “temporary nursery” in anticipation of future construction, Balsam said. “We want to repurpose as much of the plants and trees from the ‘nursery’ area as we can,” he said.

In addition, a mulberry tree on the site was removed. The wood was harvested and stored for potential reuse as special architectural elements and/or furniture in the new building.

Nursing Simulation LabParkyn said the simulation lab is a high-tech nursing lab that will be used “to simulate and record hospital training sessions in which nursing students respond to a variety of changing patient conditions."

"This is a project of considerable scope and will offer a substantially improved teaching and learning environment for students in the School of Nursing,” he said.

The lab is nearing completion, and the school expects the lab will be ready for student use shortly after Labor Day, said Dr. Linda R. Duncan, dean of the School of Nursing.

Other improvements to the North Park campus include replacing windows, doors, and locks on the Lund Apartments; roof and gutter replacement on the Student Services Building, permanently repairing damage from a spring storm during the last academic year; repainting classrooms, offices, and hallways, plus replacement of some furniture and carpeting, in Nyvall Hall; replacing chairs in the Magnuson Campus Center; and ongoing apartment maintenance in residences used by seminary and undergraduate students.

This fall, significant improvements will begin in Carlson Tower including replacing elevator cars, retrofitting sprinkler systems, and installing a new fire alarm protection system, Balsam said.

For further information or resources, contact John Brooks, Director of Media Relations and News, via email or at (773) 244-5522.

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