February 5, 2011
College departments settle into new digs
SUNY Cortland’s Professional Studies Building brings campus modern styling
Bob Ellis/staff photographer
SUNY Cortland students Stacey Ulrich, left, and Leah Kadlecik demonstrate a hearing screening on fellow student Sara Krukowski, right, in a new soundproof both in the audiology suite of the new Professional Studies Building on Folmer Drive.ep. Richard Hanna, center, greets Cortland County Highway Superintendent Don Chambers, left, and Cortland County Legislator Dave Fuller, right, Thursday during an open house at Hanna’s new Cortland office at 18 Tompkins St.
Sara Krukowski sat in a soundproof room Friday with ear phones covering her ears, responding to cues from two other SUNY Cortland students in a room next door, connected by a window.
She laughed as Stacey Ulrich and Liah Kadlecik piped sounds to her at different levels, as they simulated testing her hearing.
The three majors in communication disorders and sciences were showing off the audiology lab in the college’s new Professional Studies Building, part of the front wing that houses their department and its speech clinic.
The $11 million building opened last month, when spring classes began. It has become home to four of the School of Professional Studies’ six departments.
Shaped like a capital “T,” it combines a renovated version of the old Studio West building with a new two-story wing on the east end — measuring 21,700 square feet — that houses the Department of Communication Disorders and Sciences and Department of Recreation, Parks and Leisure Studies.
The main entrance is on the north side, facing Park Center. The new wing is home to two departments, communication disorders and sciences and recreation, parks and leisure studies.
Two other departments, kinesiology and sport management, have their offices, classrooms and computer labs in the 48,900-square-foot section that used to be Studio West. That includes a lobby and hallway measuring 30 feet by 80 feet, which connects the two parts of the building.
The school’s other two departments remain in their longtime locations, physical education in Park Center and health sciences in Moffett Center.
The new wing has a brick facade.
Money for the building came from the state Dormitory Authority, which continues to provide funding for new or renovated buildings even as other state funding sources have been cut.
The speech clinic is on the east side, with an entrance opening onto two hallways full of treatment and testing rooms, including the audiology suite. That wing is locked to make sure patients have confidentiality and to keep students from using it as a route to the rest of the building.
One hallway has a living skills room with kitchen and laundry facilities for people learning to live on their own, the audiology lab and a library.
The clinic will not be ready for a couple of weeks, said Mary Emm, its director.
The faculty, students and staff in the department, formerly called speech pathology and audiology, are especially happy with their new facilities.
The department was formerly located at the McDonald Building on Tompkins Street. The college has not decided what to do with the building.
“This is more professional looking and has more up-to-date technology,” Ulrich said.
The recreation, parks and leisure studies department has upgraded facilities in the new wing as well.
The former Studio West section has suspended metal strips along the sides, an aesthetic choice designed to tie elements of the old and new buildings together, said Jeffrey Lallas, SUNY Cortland’s director of facilities planning.
The building is heated and cooled by 60 geothermal wells, set 300 feet deep. That was a change from the original plan of 40 wells at 500 feet deep, because greater depth created complications with state compliance, Lallas said.
Interim Dean John Cottone’s office suite and waiting area is toward the rear. The hallways have an industrial feel, without a ceiling, showing ventilation and heating ducts and electrical wiring, with hanging lights.
“That was done to keep costs down and provide easy access to the heating system, easier maintenance,” Lallas said.
Communication disorders and sciences facilities are not quite finished yet. Electricians were still installing outlets for offices and TV screens in classrooms where students will view digital recordings of observation sessions. The library has no books on its shelves yet; they are in storage while the department sorts them. But the more spacious facilities will be an improvement over the McDonald Building.
“We liked that building, it was home, but we love our new spaces,” Emm said. “We like being more of a part of the campus and we like being around other departments, so we can collaborate with them.”
The upgraded and larger instructional spaces will be more appealing to graduate students, said Emm and Mike Pitcher, director of the audiology lab. The department has state, college and SUNY approval for a graduate program in communication disorders and sciences, but is awaiting national accreditation.
Graduate students may be admitted for fall of 2012.
The recreation, parks and leisure studies department was formerly located in Park Center, as were clinics and labs for the kinesiology department. Their former spaces will be used by other departments in those buildings.
Office space used by sport management faculty the past year in Van Hoesen, after they moved out of Studio West, will be used by departments in that building.
Offices for facilities planning, design and construction personnel — formerly located in Studio West — have moved to Old Main for now. Lallas said a permanent home is being determined for the department.
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