Colorado State University’s Health and Exercise Science Department is building a specialized addition that will expand research and teaching opportunities for faculty and students.
The 4,275 square-foot addition to the Human Performance Clinical Research Lab (HPCRL), located in the Moby B-Wing Complex, will provide more room for teaching as well as for conducting research and outreach programs. It will cost $2.5 million and is planned to be completed in 2017. The addition will include a Neurophysiology and Rehabilitation Lab, a Clinical Biomechanics Lab and a Physical Activity for Treatment and Prevention Lab. It will also include new offices and a new conference room.
“More (students) will be able to get a really strong experience,” said Barry Braun, head of the HES Department and Executive Director of the HPCRL. “What we need is to deliver the best possible experience to the students we have, and also provide the best possible facilities for the faculty we have.”
Braun said the HES Department, which is part of the College of Health and Human Sciences, is continually trying to expand its capacity to teach, do research and acquire more faculty. Several new faculty members have joined in the last couple of years. This includes two more academic success coordinators, making four total. There are more than 1,400 students in the growing department who need accommodation, according to Braun.
The addition will be located on the south side of the Moby B-Wing Complex, which lies on the east side of Moby Arena and was designed by architect Art Hoy. Braun said that Hoy embedded the HES Department’s mission to facilitate health and movement into the addition’s design.
It will be contsructed largely of glass to let in natural light and it will include an outdoor park area, a pedestrian plaza, a walkway featuring high ceilings and a continuous skylight that stretches from the north and south lobbies.
The old racquetball court, adjacent to the HPCRL,is being converted into the new and more spacious Clinical Biomechanics Lab. Raoul Reiser, the director of the Clinical Biomechanics Lab, will be using it to conduct research on surfaces and interactions between surfaces and footwear. The new lab will provide room for activities that require a significant amount of space, such as running up to jumps and walking up and down stairs, to be incorporated into studies.
“The current lab has been adequate but our student population is growing (along with) needs for not only more research space but needs for more teaching type space,” Reiser said. “… (In the new lab we) can do more dynamic (and) real world scenario type stuff.”
Moving the Clinical Biomechanics Lab will also create more space in the Moby B-Wing Complex, which will potentially be used to create an advising office, according to Braun.
The new labs will also be available for other CSU departments to use, including the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, the Department of Human Development and Family Studies and the Department of Psychology Braun said.
With over 1,400 majors, the HES Department is one of the biggest departments at CSU, according to Braun. He said the amount of students in graduate programs will likely increase and Ph.D. programs could double in the next four years. The addition to the HPCRL is a big step, according to Braun and Reiser, and will open up opportunities for every area of the HES Department.
“All the teaching and research missions … are connected,” Braun said. “(This addition) helps with research but it also helps with our teaching and advising.”
Collegian reporter MQ Borocz can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @MQBorocz22.