Fanshawe responds to the needs of the students: An inside look at the new and improved C building
Credit: JESSICA THOMPSON
With the construction of the Wellness Centre, students in the School of Public Safety have moved into C building, which has been refurbished with state-of-the-art machinery.
Specifically, the students in the School of Public Safety who had countless courses in J building and the many programs who had to use the campus gym for both fitness testing and courses, were negatively affected by the construction.
But this year, things are changing for the School of Public Safety as the doors of C building are opening with new and improved classrooms inside.
“Essentially the group that is here now is the group that was moved out of J building so that the Wellness Centre could be built,” said Mark Hunter, the chair of the School of Public Safety.
As you walk through the entrance doors of C building, it’s easy to not instantly look through the doors that mark the hall, but once you do take that time, you quickly see how massive the building really is. Every few feet is a door to a new classroom, a new aerobic studio, a new paramedic lab; countless classrooms where it’s hard to tell exactly how many students are in each one.
“Our new paramedic lab is really cool; it is much larger than our old lab,” Hunter said. “This is all new.”
When you walk into the new paramedic lab, which had a class of around 25 during the tour, every student seemed to be engaged in a simulation. But with that said, the students had enough space to be fully consumed by their task and not distracted by anything else going on.
“It’s badass,” said a group of second year paramedic students regarding the new setup. “It’s great, it’s really nice and spacious, and it’s also well lit. It’s three or four times the size of our lab from last year, it’s more secluded and it also [feels] more realistic.”
One of the best parts of this new lab is not solely the space, the technological advances that the paramedic students are surrounded with will make their education that much more beneficial.
“We can send a different image to each [TV], so we can set up one scenario here and have a discussion, we can have another image over there that comes right from our iPad and students can share their images. The speakers [allow us to] add a lot of different sounds to the scenario,” said Dugg Steary, co-ordinator of the paramedic program. “The video technology is new; we have Apple TV which allows us to send the information, that’s all new, so all and all fantastic.”
The new room is also set up to be a multi-use lab; the new ergonomic program at Fanshawe will also have classes in this space.
As the tour continued, it was easy to see this was a space meant for numerous students studying a variety of different programs.
There are garage spaces where everything from ambulances, to police cars, to motorbikes are stored; there are countless standard classrooms and control rooms, which will have computers set up to communicate with classrooms across the hall.
There is a new Hexagon Public Safety Lab, which has technology in place that mirrors that found in the real-life industry.
“The Hexagon Safety and Infrastructure has generously provided us with donations of software to make this the most up-to-date communications lab in Ontario and arguably in the country for students,” Hunter said. “The students in here will have access to the same computerized dispatch software that is used by the majority of police departments in Ontario, we are the only college in Ontario that has that capability.”
From the new lab, we moved on to the new gym, or as the official, yet unofficial, name would have it the new Physical Occupation Readiness Testing and Assessment Lab, also known as the Portal.
“The purpose of this is to prepare students for the physical skills needed to do these jobs,” Hunter said. “To not only be able to pass the entrance test but also develop the physical fitness levels required to be successful as a paramedic, police officer, security officer, eventually corrections officer and [careers] like that.”
One of the biggest additions to the setup for the School of Public Safety is the new personalized stair training facility. One of the things paramedics need to do is to learn how to lift people safely up and down stairs.
The stairs in between J building and the Student Union building were previously used.
The new setup in C building will make both training physically and mentally easier and more enjoyable for the students.
According to Hunter, he only sees positives to the enhancements.
“[This is a] space used by a lot of different programs and a significant enhancement for our students and the experience they have here.”