Hunter Hall Unveiled to the Public
September 2, 2011
MOUNT VERNON, Ohio --Hundreds of Mount Vernon and Knox County residents got their first looks inside the brand new home of Mount Vernon Nazarene University's School of Nursing and Health Sciences, Hunter Hall, on Friday, September 2, 2011. The former "Sewing Center" has been completely transformed into a state-of-the-art education facility, all of which was on display following a brief ribbon-cutting ceremony at 6 p.m.
In a brief ceremony held in front of the new building, Mayor Richard K. Mavis spoke of the impact MVNU has made in the life downtown Mount Vernon, with two public facilities in the heart of the historic district. "Through the last 43 years, downtown has changed," said Mayor Mavis. He spoke of department stores and other business that had once flourished on Main Street, but which, as in so many other small towns across the American Midwest, had since disappeared. Mayor Mavis continued, "We now have a group at the Mount Vernon Nazarene University, now headed by Dr. Martin, and the generosity of many of our citizens, who have put together an opportunity for students to come downtown, revitalizing the downtown, making today the beginning of a new future."
The former "Sewing Center," which adjoins the Buchwald Center on South Main Street, Hunter Hall has undergone a complete renovation. MVNU, working with SoL Harris/Day Architecture, has designed the space to easily care for the needs of its growing nursing program for years to come. Additionally, the 26,000-square-foot facility will provide a strong means to connect with the Mount Vernon community. Hunter Hall will include a health promotion center open to the public, which will provide health screenings, immunizations and preventive care to residents of Knox County. Additionally, MVNU leadership envisions community utilization of the multi-functional classrooms and conference room for various community meetings and events.
Dr. Martin followed the mayor, and spoke of the hope that Hunter Hall's reach would extend beyond the University. "Winston Churchill said, 'We shape out buildings, and thereafter, they shape us ...' Hunter Hall offers the opportunity to shape a new generation of health-care professionals, to shape the continued re-vitalization efforts of our city's downtown, and to shape our region and our world as our students move from this educational experience to live a life of service for others." Martin publicly thanked Karen Wright, CEO of Ariel Corporation, who was in attendance. "Karen has a deep love for this community and Hunter Hall is simply one, among many, where her involvement has made all the difference." Hunter Hall is named in recognition of Richard and Theresa Hunter, and Maureen Hunter Buchwald, maternal grandparents and mother, respectively, to Ms. Wright.
After a prayer of blessing was offered by Dr. Bob Mahaffey, vice chair of the MVNU Board of Trustees, it was time for the formal ribbon-cutting. Among those helping to hold the ribbon were Dr. Henry Spaulding, MVNU Provost and Chief Academic Officer; Denny Taylor, MVNU Director of Facility Services; Dr. Teresa Wood, Dean of the School of Nursing and Health Sciences; Samuel Barone, Executive Director of the Community Foundation of Mount Vernon and Knox County; Kurt Goodenberger, Vice President of Business Development for Sol Harris Day Architecture, and Sara Bauersfeld, a nursing student at MVNU. Dr. Martin, Ms. Wright, and Mayor Mavis shared the honor of cutting the ribbon and officially unveiling Hunter Hall to the public.
Following the ceremony, tours of Hunter Hall and its next door neighbor, MVNU's Buchwald Center, were available to the public. Hundreds of Mount Vernon and Knox County residents were treated to Hunter Hall's impressive technology and historical architecture. Upon entering the lobby, one cannot miss the grand conference room, with seating for sixteen, and featuring the beautiful original brick wall on the south end of the building. This space was specifically designed with regular use by the community in mind. Across from the conference room is Baker Bros., a new coffeehouse serving Starbucks coffee, sandwiches, salads, and a variety of baked goods.
Hunter Hall features three simulation rooms, two large high-tech practice laboratories, and a state-of-the-art computer lab. Each classroom is wired with smart technology, allowing students in a first floor classroom to observe, in real time, what is happening in one of the practice labs or simulation rooms. As a regular part of their education, students will be able to take advantage of the most up-to-date medical technology to practice nearly every conceivable real-life situation, from providing CPR to starting an IV to developing and improving their bedside manner.
In the coming months, Hunter Hall will offer even more opportunities to engage the local community by providing a variety of health and wellness clinics. Community members will soon be able to have their blood pressure checked, receive flu-shots or vaccinations, or take advantage of several other public health screenings. The goal is to provide yet one more opportunity for Mount Vernon and Knox County residents to receive essential preventive care and basic health education in a convenient and accessible location. Of course, these clinics will also provide a great educational opportunity for students studying nursing and medical laboratory science.
Dr. Martin summarized the hopes for what Hunter Hall could be when he said, "What was once a building simply filled with memories; a dark, cold, and empty reminder of the past that once was; has now been resurrected for a new purpose, a new day, and a bright future." On behalf of the community, Mayor Mavis concurred. "Thank you" he said to Dr. Martin and Ms. Wright, "for the vision. Thank you for the movement to make our city become alive again."
Mount Vernon Nazarene University is a private, four-year, intentionally Christian teaching university for traditional age students, graduate students and working adults. U.S. News & World Report ranks MVNU in the top 50 Regional Colleges (Midwest) for the eighth year in a row. With a 400-acre main campus in Mount Vernon, Ohio, and serveral convenient Graduate and Professional Studies locations throughout the state, MVNU emphasizes academic excellence, spiritual growth and service to community and church. MVNU offers an affordable education to more than 2,600 students from 26 states and seven countries/U.S. territories.