The skylights in a former operating room now illuminate an art studio. The nursery with its round windows for viewing newborns now serves as a math classroom. The morgue – no longer dead space – has been transformed into an engineering fabrication lab. Patient rooms became residence hall rooms. Breezeways for patients to get fresh air are now brightly lit corridors.
“There’s something about the story of being in an old hospital,” NCSSM Chancellor Todd Roberts says in the accompanying video.
Roberts knows the place well – in fact, he was born here when it was still a hospital.
But a 1908 hospital also has unique maintenance needs.
“It does have its challenges as well. It was never created to be a school, particularly a school in 2017,” Roberts says.
The arched breezeway windows require meticulous scraping and painting, for instance.
And masonry walls aren’t particularly conducive to 21st-century Wi-Fi. “It was never envisioned that it was going to be a totally wireless community,” Roberts says.
Lawmakers and university officials need to keep those unique demands in mind when they allocate maintenance dollars.