U.Va. Nursing School's McLeod Hall First-Floor Renovation Complete

People in line at Cafe McLeod

New café in McLeod Hall

August 20, 2010 — As the Claude Moore Nursing Education Building opened in 2008, plans were being readied for the renovation of McLeod Hall, which has served the School of Nursing since 1972. With the start of fall classes, students and faculty will be able to use the renovated first floor.

The first floor of McLeod serves many functions – lobby for the 480-seat Charles Rogers Fenwick Auditorium, a place for students, faculty and staff from nursing and the Health System to gather, classroom space.

The goal is to renovate McLeod, bringing the building in line with the state-of-the art facilities in the Claude Moore building, nursing school Dean Dorrie Fontaine said.

Renovations reconfigured the floor to accommodate the school's Center for Nursing Historical Inquiry, a new café, renovated classrooms, a conference room and updated restrooms and furniture in public areas. The design is intended to foster a stronger link between the Nursing School and nearby Health System facilities.

"The greater prominence of the history center, better space for researchers and the café and coffee shop will enhance informal networking," Fontaine said.

"Nursing and medical students and faculty as well as researchers and clinicians can mingle together in our space and discuss common issues and get to know each other. The inter-professional initiative bringing nursing and medicine together for classes and clinical can be fostered informally," she said.

The new home of the Center for Nursing Historical Inquiry, one of only two nursing history centers in the country, is located immediately inside the entrance from Jeanette Lancaster Way, giving it visibility to the public as well as easy accessibility for student and faculty research.

The location provides improved capacity and usability of the center's collection of textbooks, which make available a history of the evolution of the practice of nursing. Papers, correspondence, field notes of public health nurses, photos, items that chronicle the school's history, the papers of former Dean Jeanette Lancaster, and research papers of other faculty are also included. All will be archived in a humidity- and temperature-controlled room in a high-density filing cabinet system or on a wall of bookshelves in the main room.

Also included in the collection are artifacts, implements and historic nursing uniforms, which will be displayed in rotation on two life-size mannequins in a glass display space that faces the auditorium across the hall. The first display will be of a rural visiting nurse with a pregnant patient. Mounted on the wall in the main hallway, next to the center's glass display window, a scrolling historical slide show will be shown on a 50-inch LCD monitor.

It will be a few weeks before some of the custom cabinets and furnishings arrive, the collection is unpacked and the center is fully operational. A dedication ceremony will be held in November.

Across the hall from the center is a large room that will house the Sigma Theta Tau Organization, the international nursing honor society, locally represented by the Beta Kappa chapter.

Down the hall, on the south side of the building, classroom space is designed to provide two large classrooms connected by a removable partition to allow for teaching flexibility as well as school functions. Each classroom is equipped with audio-visual technology that will operate individually when the partition is closed, and simultaneously when it is open. The classrooms are outfitted with movable tables and chairs and have double-glass doors that open to the south terrace, increasing the flexibility of the space.

Coffee and food will be available at a new facility; the coffee shop will be run by Java City, and Bleecker Street Café by ARAMARK. Focus is on fresh, healthful light fare with many items made to order. Quick service is also on the menu with a touch-pad self-order station as well as a "grab and go" section with pre-made items. The café will be open weekdays, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The food facility is convenient not only for nursing students and faculty, but also for those in the new Claude Moore Medical Education Building, Medical Research Building 6 and other nearby Health System facilities.

Five computers near the front entrance on Jeanette Lancaster Way will allow Web and e-mail access as nursing students travel from clinical practice to academic classes.

Renovations of the fourth floor are already underway and work on the remaining floors will commence as funding becomes available.

— By Jane Ford

Media Contact