BOONE — Appalachian State University’s 203,000-square-foot Leon Levine Hall of Health Sciences saw less than half of its scheduled classes take place on Tuesday, with a phased move-in expected to last several weeks.
“Of the 235 classes from the five departments taking occupancy that meet in a classroom setting, 99, or just over 42 percent, will meet in the building Tuesday,” said ASU spokesperson Megan Hayes on Saturday. “Forty-four courses are currently meeting online, are clinicals or are independent study courses. Beyond Tuesday, we fully expect those numbers to increase rapidly, with the building being fully occupied by Fall Break.”
Select classes were held Tuesday on the second and third floors, with the fourth and fifth floors blocked off to the public. Work continued on the building Tuesday as students went to their first classes.
The delays in full occupancy in the building come three weeks after Hayes said on July 27 that the project was “on time and on budget,” although Hayes also said in the same statement there were steps being taken to ensure backup plans were in place “to prevent any disruptions should any last-minute delays occur.”
On Friday, Hayes stated that three of the five departments that will occupy the building would hold classes there on Tuesday: Nutrition and Health Care Management, Social Work and Communication Sciences and Disorders.
“We expect to have approximately 50 faculty and about 800 students teaching and learning in the building next week,” Hayes said Friday.
On Friday, ASU said the phased move-in was to “minimize academic disruptions,” a point that was repeated on Saturday in more detail.
“The logistics of taking occupancy of the facility and moving the classroom and laboratory equipment are very complex, so we developed a flexible plan that allows faculty to make decisions about the move schedule that will maximize the educational experiences for our students, while also getting all five departments into the building as quickly and efficiently as possible,” Hayes said on Saturday.
The BCHS website published a link to public Google Docs on Friday announcing the phased move-in, including spreadsheets with classes and where they will meet.
Class meeting locations on the Google Docs were being edited by ASU officials going into Saturday.
Most athletic training classes will meet at the Holmes Convocation Center; exercise science classes will be at the Holmes Center, John E. Thomas Hall, Plemmons Student Union or online; nursing classes will meet at either Edwin Duncan Hall, Anne Belk Hall or the Belk Library and Information Commons; most nutrition students will meet at Doughton Hall; public health students will meet at either Edwin Duncan Hall, Holmes Convocation Center or online; and exploring health sciences will be in the Plemmons Student Union.
The nursing document said labs will be held at Edwin Duncan for the first four weeks of classes.
The public documents on where Beaver College of Health Sciences classes are meeting can be found here.
The five-story building will eventually house 14 of 16 existing programs in the Beaver College of Health Sciences. Levine Hall will also hold the Wake Forest Physician Assistant Program and the Blue Cross Blue Shield of NC Institute for Health and Human Services.
The $79 million building was partially financed by $70 million from the Connect NC Bond package and, according to Hayes, will be the first UNC system building funded by that bond package to be completed.
Student growth in the BCHS has more than doubled since the college began in 2010, according to ASU, and more than 3,000 health science majors are currently pursuing degrees in 15 different program areas. It is now the second largest college at ASU.
The project was originally made possible by a 9.2-acre pledge by Appalachian Regional Healthcare System in 2012, with the deed being signed over in April 2016, a month after the Connect NC bond was approved by state voters on March 15, 2016.
Groundbreaking occurred on June 23, 2016. LS3P Associates is the project’s architect, and Rodgers Builders of Charlotte is the construction manager at risk.
In January, ASU announced that the building would be named the Leon Levine Hall of Health Sciences after receiving a $5 million grant from The Leon Levine Foundation of Charlotte.
A ribbon cutting event for Levine Hall is still scheduled for Friday, Sept. 21, at 1 p.m. Tours of the building will be offered at the event.