Facilities improved over break

University construction and maintenance changes progressed both on campus and online throughout the four-week-long holiday break.

Several improvements completed throughout the month include a new simulation lab constructed for nursing students in Lindegren Hall’s basement as well as different aesthetic updates, said Kevin Bame, vice chancellor for administration and finance.

Rachel Keever, a junior from Fisher studying pre-professional pre-nursing, said she looks forward to using the new simulation center throughout the semester.

The simulation center previously occupied only one Student Health Center room, she said.

“We had four simulators in one room last semester, so having more space will make things a lot easier,” Keever said. “The simulators are so lifelike, which is a huge help for hands-on learning.”

Keever said the simulators contain computers that allow students to listen to their vital organs. One machine actually simulates birth, she said.

Chelsea Green, a senior from Champaign studying nursing, said the tools used in the simulators are extremely advanced and necessary for her field.

“The simulators are absolutely necessary for us,” Green said. “We can go to (patients’) bedsides, check their vitals and they respond to us.”

The simulation center has state of the art equipment, which  Bame said will be very beneficial for student practice. The program had its first semester classes in the new center Jan. 8.

Other improvements include the new McCafe added onto the Student Center McDonald’s, Morris Library bathroom renovations, Faner Hall classroom painting, a new handrail in the Student Center and Student Services building progression, Bame said.

“All of these improvements are coming along very well, and we hope to continue to make the campus better and more accessible for students,” he said.

Chancellor Rita Cheng said the construction process will continue because several campus locations that are a major priority for the SIU community’s safety still need updates.

“We are paying attention to the needs of this campus and will be continuing to upgrade and enhance areas that need improvement,” she said.

Campus building construction and renovation, SalukiNet also went through several changes.

Scott Bridges, Information Technology assistant director, said the new improvements are the first major site updates in several years.

“We had six-year-old hardware that was all updated into newer, more updated software,” Bridges said. “A system upgrade this extensive hasn’t occurred for years and was necessary for the portal.”

Allison Brown, a freshman from Decatur studying sociology, said while she hopes new construction and improvements will benifit the campus, they have been an inconvenience.

“I know we have to make our campus look good and improvements are always necessary, but I’ve been here since August, and it seems like every time I turn around there’s something new being constructed while the other projects are still not finished,” Brown said.

However, Brown said she does look forward to the Student Center McCafe and the Dippin’ Dots openings.

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