A home at last for Hopkins' nursing school Homecoming: After years of sharing space with other departments on two campuses, the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing opened a building of its own this week.

Urban Landscape

January 08, 1998|By Edward Gunts | Edward Gunts,SUN STAFF

THE JOHNS Hopkins medical campus has had a nursing school since 1889, but it hasn't had a building dedicated solely to nursing education and research until this week.

When the $17.2 million Anne M. Pinkard Building opened for classes Monday, it became the first permanent home for Hopkins' School of Nursing, which had shared space with other Hopkins departments.

Constructed at 525 N. Wolfe St., between Jefferson and McElderry streets, the six-level building enables Hopkins to consolidate nursing programs and departments that were scattered over six sites on two campuses.

In addition to classrooms, lecture halls, a 231-seat auditorium and research labs, it houses Hopkins' Center for Nursing Research and its Institute for Johns Hopkins Nursing.

The new school "captures the essence of Hopkins nursing -- enduring in form, futuristic in technology and compassionate in beauty," said Dean Sue K. Donaldson. "The students who learn in this new building will go on to make valuable contributions in hospital units, community clinics, research laboratories, private homes -- anywhere there is a need for quality health care."

The building was constructed to accommodate the steady growth of the school, which was founded as part of the hospital and re-established in 1984 as a university division. It has 82 full- and part-time faculty members and nearly 500 students.

It was named for a Baltimore philanthropist and former university trustee who serves as president of the Robert G. and Anne Merrick Foundation and the Jacob and Annita France Foundation, which jointly gave $3 million for construction.

Employees spent the last week in December moving into the building so it would be ready for the start of classes Monday. The opening makes it the first major building to open in Baltimore in 1998.

"I was thrilled to watch the faces of the students this week as they entered our new building for the first time," Donaldson said. "It is clear that they are eager to study and learn here and to be part of Hopkins nursing. After more than 100 years, the faculty, students and staff are all under one roof, and it is a satisfying feeling."

Although the school is part of the Johns Hopkins University, students gain clinical experience from working in Hopkins Hospital, and many go on to take permanent jobs there. Ayers Saint Gross of Baltimore designed the school to reflect its connections to both the university and the hospital, explained project architect Mark Demshak.

"If you look around the campus, university buildings are buff-colored, whether limestone or brick, and hospital buildings are red brick," he said. "We saw our building as a building that bridges the two institutions, so we used red brick at the base and buff-colored cast stone above."

With the new building, Hopkins officials wanted to position the nursing school so it is no longer regarded as a "handmaiden" to the medical profession. They also wanted to evoke a sense of tradition by taking cues from some of Hopkins' best-known landmarks, including the Houck building, the domed Billings building and the Welch Medical Library.

"The idea of creating a building that has sense of a tradition and a link with the past was very important to the school, especially since it never had a home of its own," said Pamela Veit, project manager for the university.

Planners also wanted the building to be an oasis for students -- a comfortable environment where students could take a break from stressful academic or clinical situations.

Ayers Saint Gross responded with a handsome and humane building that has a landscaped courtyard, indoor cafe, large windows and plenty of spots for formal and impromptu #i gatherings. At the top, in the cast stone, the university's seal is embedded. As seen from the hospital's main entrance, it is a civilized and civilizing presence on the edge of a somewhat bleak and hostile urban environment.

The building is secure but not a fortress, Demshak said. "The nurses felt very strongly about wanting a building that was open and welcoming. The last thing they wanted was a walled precinct."

Barton Malow was the construction manager. Adam Gross was principal in charge for Ayers Saint Gross. The building will be dedicated June 11 as part of the school's homecoming festivities.

"I am proud to have my name associated with a school of nursing that values the quality of life of the patient above all else," Pinkard said. "The school's rich history and tradition are evidence that this new building will continue to nourish and support many expert nurses in the years to come."

Pub Date: 1/08/98

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