Published in VC's Notes on June 15, 2012
If you’ve walked through the Verner Holmes Learning Resource Center lately, you’ve probably heard the hammers and smelled the paint. The renovations are gradually taking shape and the finished project will be one of not just form but function as well.
I’d like to share with you the plans for this revised space. We had two main goals for this project, which is expected to be completed in July. First, we wanted to unite several administrative departments within one facility for day-to-day operations and for times of emergency response. Second, we wanted to better serve students.
The first floor will house administrators who directly report to the vice chancellor, which will enhance collaboration and interaction. The second floor now will be dedicated to student services, moving offices in LRC that students regularly visit into one level. Also the redesign will create future access to the new School of Medicine, which will be located immediately north of the LRC in parking lot 19. The third floor will continue to contain library space with the addition of office suites for accounting and compliance.
An exciting feature of the renovation is the conferencing and presentation suite on the first floor. It will primarily serve as a conference room for administrative meetings, but it can also be used for press conferences and as an emergency response center. We only need to think back to Hurricane Katrina to realize that communications within our facility, with other state agencies, and with the media are crucial during natural disasters.
Additionally, the LRC is the main gateway to the Medical Center from Lakeland Drive and visitors should see a space that reflects the high caliber of education, research and health care that we provide. As we work to create a new, larger entrance to UMMC from Lakeland Drive, our faculty, staff, students and visitors will all benefit from improved traffic flow, especially during the morning and evening rush hours.
We’ve begun the first phase of this project. Eventually, these improvements will pave the way for construction of two new campus buildings devoted to medical education and research as well as a new parking garage.
The renovated LRC and new campus entrance from Lakeland are part of the ongoing improvements at the Medical Center that will prepare us for future growth in all of our missions. Our future is bright and it’s because of all the work you do for UMMC. Thank you.